A General Durable Power of Attorney is a document by which you nominate an agent to act for you in matters other than health care. It is a broad grant of authority that enables your agent to handle your financial affairs, including buying and selling assets, filing tax returns, and making gifts for specific purposes. Although your agent's authority will continue if you should become incompetent, it will end at your death. Since your agent will have the power to act on your behalf immediately after you have executed the document, we usually suggest that the client not release the General Durable Power of Attorney to the agent until it is needed. We often keep the original document in our possession, and ask the client to give us specific written instructions about the terms of its release.