2) What is a Durable Power of Attorney?
In the UK this is known as an Enduring Power of Attorney - that is it remains in force if you become mentally ill, incapacitated or unable to manage your own affairs. However if any of these do apply then the Power of Attorney needs to be registered with the Court of Protection
A PoA (of any kind) in the UK would not grant any person healthcare representation rights - the documents and the powers associated are all business related / property/ monies/ shares or other affairs of a business nature - you can limit the extent of the power by writing some details on the forms - these can be readily downloaded from the net and no costs should be involved in preparing them here in the UK
Any "Attorney" that is a person holding any kind of PoA has to keep account of the use of the Power and be able to justify their transactions as being exactly what the donor (the person granting the power) would want
When no spouse is involved, It is best in the UK if 2 persons are named as donors - assigning them to act "jointly and severally" - meaning they both have to sign cheques/documents etc
I would suggest that nearly all husbands and wives have these set up - so that the husband is the attorney for the wifes affairs and vice vera - so many times I see people in the office who are suddenly trapped with no access to husbands/wifes funds because of illness/or other calamity and the accounts being in sole names - with the money laundering requirements and avoidance of crime legislation Banks are not willing to help if Mrs X needs cash for food if her husband is taken gravely ill and cannot sign a cheque/draw cash - a person with an EPA would be able to cope a bit easier in these circumstances and could readily have access to funds etc