There is a lot to think about when creating an estate plan, including what will happen to you and your finances in the event you become incapacitated.
There are many ways to protect yourself, with the use of a durable financial power of attorney at the top of the list.
When you create a durable financial power of attorney you're allowing another person, known as a financial agent, to make important financial decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so on your own.
You have the opportunity to set the limits of your agent's power. Here are some of the tasks you may staff your agent with:
- Paying your taxes
- Paying your bills
- Managing your real estate
- Paying any medical expenses
- Investing your money
- Accessing financial accounts, such as bank accounts and retirement accounts
- Selling assets if necessary
- Operating your business in your absence
- Collecting retirement benefits
You don't have to give your agent the power to do all of these things, but you should at least consider if it makes sense to do so.
Many people shy away from a durable financial power of attorney because they believe their agent is able to do whatever they want, whenever they want. This is not true, as this person is obligated to make decisions in your best interest.
If you want to bring more clarity to your estate plan, all the while giving you more peace of mind, you should consider the creation of a durable financial power of attorney. This may be just what you need to clear your mind.
Source: FindLaw, "Durable Financial Power of Attorney," accessed June 14, 2018