Durable power of attorney: A type of advance medical directive in which legal documents provide the power of attorney to another person in the case of an incapacitating medical condition. A durable power of attorney allows another person to make bank transactions, sign Social Security checks, apply for disability, or write checks to pay utility bills while an individual is medically incapacitated. Such documents are recommended for any patient who may be unable to make his or her wishes known during a long medical confinement.
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Last Editorial Review: 5/13/2016