Durable Powers of Attorney. Hawaii law allows you to create a durable power of attorney so that someone else can do certain things for you. The durable power of attorney will last as long as the power of attorney specifies or until you revoke it. The power of attorney is called a durable power of attorney because it does not end if you become legally incompetent. The durable power of attorney will end when you die, so it is not a substitute for a will. The broadest form of a durable power of attorney is called a general power of attorney. Under this form, the holder of the power can do anything that you can do. If you wish the holder of the power to make gifts on your behalf, that should be specified in the power of attorney.
Limited powers of attorney are those which are more restricted than general powers of attorney. They can be limited to certain things, such as endorsing checks or taking care of certain property for you.
General and limited powers of attorney can be restricted to a certain time period if that is appropriate.
You may also limit the period when powers of attorney are to be effective. For example, they can be restricted to periods when your doctor has determined that you do not have the ability to make your own decisions. However, such conditions may create practical problems in establishing that the conditions have occurred, so you need to decide whether the benefits of the limitations outweigh the potential practical problems of proving those conditions have occurred.
Before you create a power of attorney, you must be satisfied that the person holding the power will use it properly as you wish it to be used. Although the power of attorney is very useful, it can be abused. If other persons dealing with the holder of the power of attorney do not know that it is being abused, they are entitled to rely on the power and your only remedy will be against the holder of the power. Even if you revoke the power of attorney in writing and give that revocation to the holder of the power, other persons who do not know of the revocation may rely on the power of attorney.
You may give more than one power of attorney if you wish. You may also name more than one person to exercise the power jointly, so that no one person can act. You may also name alternates if the first holder of the power of attorney is unable to act for you.