A written legal document in which one person (the principal) appoints another person to manage the principal’s financial affairs. Even though the intent is that the power of attorney will not take effect until the principal becomes unable to handle his or her own affairs, it actually takes effect on the date it is signed, unless otherwise specified. And, unless otherwise specified, the durable financial power of attorney applies only to assets owned directly by the principal, and not to any assets transferred into a trust by the principal. Unlike an ordinary power of attorney, a durable power of attorney remains in effect even after the principal can no longer manage his or her own affairs. Here are two (2) helpful articles: Medical and Financial Powers of Attorney and Helping a Loved One Make a Power of Attorney. See also Durable Power of Attorney