Lasting power of attorney – for what and why?

by | Nov 10, 2023 | Caregiving, Laws & Regulations

An act that was like that was…


Yehuda, an 84-year-old elderly man who has a son and two daughters, drew up a lasting power of attorney about six months ago and according to his detailed instructions, he stated that he wished to continue living in his home, and that he wished to go once a week to eat ice cream at the beach in Nahariya, and he also requested that none of his children be placed in a nursing home .

Yehuda knew that when he was clear and aware of his actions, his instructions as he gave them would be carried out in practice one by one and therefore he asked to appoint his eldest daughter to take care of his affairs when the day came when he became incompetent to make decisions, the continuing power of attorney was entrusted to the general guardian at the Ministry of Justice.

In the last month Yehuda felt severe confusion and an inability to concentrate and had to rest in his bed for many days and his children began a ritual of advice regarding his matter, while different options were brought up by each of his children.

The son Atz ran to him and took one of the most expensive lawyers that could be obtained, in order to submit a request to be appointed as guardian for his father and so that he could make decisions for him, while the younger daughter turned to a neighbor who lives one floor above her and is a lawyer with an independent office, in order to appoint the younger daughter as guardian on her father and you can make decisions on his behalf.


When the lawyers submitted their requests to the court, the secretary of the court typed the father’s identity card into the general guardian’s database and there it was discovered that there is a lasting power of attorney that was entrusted with clear instructions from the father on how to behave with him and that according to his wishes the eldest daughter is the one who is appointed as his guardian.

The other children’s protests didn’t help, the ongoing power of attorney overrides their current requests and the father’s will, as determined six months ago, is fully complied with.

What is a durable power of attorney?


A durable power of attorney is a legal document that allows any adult (over the age of 18) to determine how and by whom his affairs will be handled in the future when he is unable to handle it himself, provided he understands the meaning, goals and results of granting the durable power of attorney.

The person (called the “appointee”) chooses of his own free will at the stage when he understands and is able to make decisions and carry out who will take care of his affairs and how his life will look if and when his condition changes for the worse (deterioration in his condition). Deterioration in his condition can result from an accident, diseases of old age (such as dementia), mental disabilities and intellectual disabilities that may impair a person’s judgment.

The way to do this is by appointing a proxy who will be authorized to act on behalf of that person in the future when he will no longer be able to make or carry out decisions concerning us himself.

The appointer can give a continuing power of attorney for all of his personal (including medical) and property matters or only some of them.

The power of attorney must act according to the instructions of the appointer, he must sign and confirm in writing before a lawyer (or before a professional in medical power of attorney) his agreement to the content of the continuing power of attorney, including the preliminary instructions included therein. In cases where the directive is impossible to carry out, illegal or when its execution will cause serious damage to it – the power of attorney must not act on it. In such a case, he can turn to the court and ask him to give instructions on how to act

A person can decide on the appointment of a single power of attorney as well as on the appointment of a replacement power of attorney in case the first power of attorney is unwilling or unable to act on his behalf. He can also appoint a number of proxies. It is possible and appropriate to determine whether the powers-that-be will act jointly or separately, what is the extent of the powers and responsibilities of each of them, as well as who will decide in the event of a dispute between them.

In order for the continuing power of attorney to take effect, there is no obligation for the person to lose his legal capacity, but it is certainly possible to establish that the continuing power of attorney will also be valid in this situation, and then the power of attorney’s entry into office can be done instead of appointing a guardian in the specific matters defined in the continuing power of attorney.

A person who wishes to set instructions in advance in the event that it is necessary to appoint a guardian for him, can draw up a document giving advance instructions, in which he can, for example, determine in advance who will be his guardian in the future (if necessary), as well as detail future decisions that will be made on his behalf or actions that will be taken on his behalf by the guardian appointed for him.

Below are some examples of instructions that can be given:

*The author of the power of attorney can determine within his personal medical affairs the type/identity of his preferred therapist.

*The author of the power of attorney can determine as part of his personal affairs that his place of residence in the future will be his home, and that the transition to an out-of-home arrangement will be made only under certain circumstances.

*The attorney of power can determine as part of handling his property affairs that the attorney will sell or rent his house under certain circumstances or instruct him to invest his money in a certain way.

Points to note:

From the date of entry into force of a continuing power of attorney, the person’s relatives and the “informed person” are entitled to receive information about the deposit of the power of attorney, the identity of the power of attorney and the “informed person” and the types of matters for which the power of attorney was given – unless the person in the continuing power of attorney limited the their eligibility.

From the date of the deposit of the continuing power of attorney until the date of its entry into force, the general guardian will send the appointing person a reminder, once every 3 years, to make sure that the person does not want to change the power of attorney for any reason.

An important point that must be noted and addressed carefully is that the power of attorney must be drawn up on special forms and signed before a lawyer who has undergone special training, and that he has no personal interest in the power of attorney. If this is not the case, then the power of attorney will not be legally issued.

In order for the continuing power of attorney to take effect, there is no obligation for the person to lose his legal capacity, but it is certainly possible to establish that the continuing power of attorney will also be valid in this situation, and then the power of attorney’s entry into office can be done instead of appointing a guardian in the specific matters defined in the continuing power of attorney.

Preliminary instructions-

A person who wishes to set instructions in advance in the event that it is necessary to appoint a guardian for him, can draw up a document of giving advance instructions, in which he can, for example, determine in advance who will be his guardian in the future (if necessary), as well as detail future decisions that will be made on his behalf or actions that will be taken on his behalf by the guardian appointed for him. For more information, see Provision of preliminary instructions for the appointment of a guardian.

In addition, any person who wants to prepare for the stage where he will have difficulty making decisions himself in the future, even if he has not filed a lasting power of attorney or will not be appointed a guardian, has another option, which is to appoint a person (officially) who will help him make decisions but will not make them for him. For more information, see Decision Support.

To Finish-

The author of the article is a lawyer and a qualified mediator with about 10 years of experience, in the past he was involved in the operation of large systems and the management of many teams of employees, he graduated with two degrees and in addition a degree in law, he owns a law office for family matters, inheritances and wills, he is qualified as the general guardian in the Ministry of Justice for drafting power of attorney Continuing and lecturing on family matters and the rights of the elderly.