Durable Powers Of Attorney For Financial Affairs

A durable power of attorney for financial affairs is a written document in which you give another person, called your agent or your attorney-in-fact, the power to make decisions concerning your property management. These decisions may include making investments, depositing or withdrawing money from your bank accounts, signing your tax returns, executing documents affecting your real property, and adding assets to your living trust.

  1. Why Do I Need A Durable Power Of Attorney For Financial Affairs?

    Sometimes people cannot manage their financial affairs. This may occur for a variety of reasons including sickness, dementia, or other mental incapacity. Many of these persons will need a court appointed conservator to manage their affairs. However if you sign a durable power of attorney for financial affairs before you become incompetent then your agent (also known as your "attorney-in-fact") can manage your affairs for you, and a conservatorship may be avoided.

    In addition to avoiding a conservatorship in the event of incapacity durable powers of attorney are useful if you are immobile, busy or even out of town. In these cases, you may authorize your attorney-in-fact to sign important documents on your behalf.

  2. If I Have A Living Trust Do I Also Need A Durable Power Of Attorney For Financial Affairs?

    Yes. A durable power of attorney for financial affairs deals with property that has not been transferred to a living trust, such as retirement accounts. The trustee of a living trust does not have any authority to manage assets that have not been transferred to the living trust. Rather, your appointed agent under your durable power of attorney can manage these assets.

  3. If I Have A Durable Power Of Attorney Why Do I Need A Living Trust?

    A durable power of attorney cannot replace a living trust. For one thing, a durable power of attorney cannot direct the distribution of your assets upon your death. For another thing, a durable power of attorney cannot be used to avoid probate or as a tax-savings device.

  4. Who Should I Appoint As My Agent?

    Because a durable power of attorney gives broad powers to your appointed agent you should choose your agent with special care. Your agent should be someone you trust implicitly with your financial affairs.

  5. Can I Change Or Terminate The Durable Power Of Attorney?

    Yes. As long as you are competent you can change or revoke your durable power of attorney at any time.

  6. Can I Limit The Scope Of My Durable Power Of Attorney?

    Yes. You can make the power you give your agent as broad or as limited as you wish.