The durable power of attorney, widely used in every jurisdiction, is a statutorily sanctioned vehicle for creating an agency relationship that survives the principal’s incapacity. The Uniform Probate Code first included durable power provisions in 1969 to offer an inexpensive method of surrogate decisionmaking. Although originally promoted as beneficial for those whose modest assets did not justify pre-incapacity planning with a trust or post-incapacity property management with a guardianship, the durable power of attorney is now used by both the wealthy and non-wealthy for incapacity planning as well as convenience. After more than three decades of using durable powers of attorney, we have the benefit of common experiences, best practices, and legislative trends to inform our assessment of durable powers as an alternative to guardianship. This Article examines that aggregate experience to distill important lessons not only for the use of durable powers, but also for legislative reform to improve their efficacy as a means of surrogate property management.