A financial power of attorney names who cares for your affairs if you are unable.
A financial power of attorney which is also known as a durable power of attorney allows you to appoint the person or persons to handle your financial affairs if you are unable. If you are creating a power of attorney and giving someone else the power to act, you are known as the “principal”. The person or persons receiving the power use to be commonly known as the “attorney-in-fact” or even just the “attorney” but these terms lead to confusion and is now known as the “agent”. Some of the top reasons for having a comprehensive durable power of attorney are:
- Provides the ability to choose who will make decisions for you (rather than a court).
- Avoids the necessity of a guardianship or conservatorship.
- Provides family members a good opportunity to discuss wishes and desires.
- Prevents questions about principal’s intent.
- Prevents delays in asset protection planning.
- Protects the agent from claims of financial abuse.
- Allows agents to talk to other agencies.
- Allows an agent to perform planning and transactions to make the principal eligible for public benefits.
- Provides immediate access to critical assets.
- Provides peace of mind for everyone involved.
If you do not have a durable power of attorney or if the one you have does not deliver all of the above benefits then you should consider having one made or updating the one you have.