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Financial power of attorney

Understanding the Importance of a Financial Power of Attorney

Medical emergencies can befall any of us, at any time. Though this is an unpleasant reality, it’s one that we need to think about, particularly during the estate planning process. For example, estate planning provides a number of tools for ensuring that your wishes are carried out, even if you fall into a coma or become incapacitated in some other way.

One such tool is the financial power of attorney. In this post, we’ll explain what this document is, why you might need one, and how a power of attorney lawyer can help you.

What is a Financial Power of Attorney?

Let’s begin with a simple definition.

A financial power of attorney is a legal document, allowing you to appoint another person to serve as your representative, should you become medically incapacitated in any way.

When you lose the ability to communicate your wishes, the financial power of Lawyer goes into effect, imbuing your chosen representative with authority to handle financial or business decisions in your stead.

Should you regain consciousness, the power of attorney immediately goes out of effect, meaning your chosen representative can no longer act in your interests.

Financial Power of Attorney vs. Medical Power of Attorney

As you consider the durable power of attorney, it’s important to note that there are two basic types: The estate planning attorney, and the medical power of attorney.

While a financial power of attorney lets you appoint someone to represent you in business matters, a medical power of attorney allows you to choose someone who can make decisions about your healthcare, should you be unable to make those decisions on your own.

In some instances, it may be wise to have both documents included in your estate plan. A power of attorney lawyer can advise you further.

What Can a Financial Power of Attorney Do?

A common question regarding the durable power of attorney: Exactly what can your legal representative do? What kind of decisions are they authorized to make on your behalf?

A financial power of attorney lawyer can outline the specifics, but for now, we’ll offer a few examples. The person you name to be your legal representative may be able to do any of the following:

  • Complete real estate transactions in your name
  • Buy or sell a business on your behalf
  • Pay your bills or outstanding debts
  • Make changes within your investment portfolio

These are just a few examples; for a broader understanding, we’ll recommend once again that you speak with a financial power of attorney lawyer.

Other Options to Consider

When meeting with an estate planning attorney, it may be helpful to ask about some other estate planning documents. For example, an advance health care directive or a living will allow you to specify your wishes with regard to life-saving medications, procedures, or support systems. These documents can work well, either to replace or to supplement your power of attorney. Again, ask your power of attorney lawyer for their specific advice here.

Speak with an Estate Planning Lawyer in Fremont

None of us can predict what tomorrow will bring; and while we don’t want to imagine that we could be suddenly incapacitated, it’s a contingency worth planning for. An estate planning Lawyer can help you do so.

Ready to learn more about powers of attorney and other crucial estate planning documents? Reach out to the lawyers at Singh Law Firm in Fremont, California. We’re here to answer your questions and help you develop an estate plan that upholds your wishes. Contact us to make an appointment.


Estate planning provides a way to prepare for the future, and to mitigate uncertainty. And certainly, there is much in life that is uncertain. None of us know what tomorrow will bring; an unexpected illness, injury, or accident could completely change the direction of our lives.

Through estate planning, you can prepare even for this kind of catastrophe. Specifically, a document known as the financial power of attorney allows you some level of control over your destiny, even if you are rendered medically incapacitated.

But what is a financial power of attorney? And at what point do you need to call a power of attorney lawyer?

Understanding the Financial Power of Attorney

We’ll start by defining our term: What is a durable power of attorney, specifically a financial power of attorney?

Essentially, this is an estate planning document in which you can name someone to serve as your legal representative. In the event that you fall into a coma or are otherwise medically unresponsive, your durable power of attorney will go into effect, allowing your named representative to make important business or financial decisions on your behalf. Should you regain consciousness, the power of attorney will immediately go out of effect.

What Can You Do with a Financial Power of Attorney?

With a financial power of attorney, you can invest your representative with a wide range of legal powers and privileges. Your power of attorney lawyer can go into specifics, but a few examples of what your legal representative can do include:

  • File your taxes for you
  • Sell a business that you own
  • Complete a real estate transaction on your behalf
  • Pay off debts and obligations on your behalf

These are just a few examples of the responsibilities you can give to your legal appointee, all through a financial power of attorney.

What About a Medical Power of Attorney?

It’s worth noting that there are actually a couple of options for your power of attorney. In addition to a financial power of attorney, you can also have a medical power of attorney.

A medical power of attorney works in much the same way as a financial power of attorney. The difference is that, instead of bestowing financial powers upon your representative, you instead authorize them to make decisions about the medical care you receive, for as long as you are incapacitated.

How About Health Care Directives?

A common question: How does a medical power of attorney differ from a health care directive?

Basically, a health care directive is an estate planning document that lets you specify your wishes for life support services, e.g., when you wish breathing machines and feeding tubes to be used, when you want them removed, etc.

You may choose to have a health care directive and a power of attorney in place, including a financial power of attorney and/or a medical power of attorney. It all depends on your specific estate planning concerns and goals. A directive power of attorney lawyer can advise you further.

Speak with a Directive Power of Attorney Lawyer Today

The bottom line: A financial power of attorney is just one of several estate planning documents that can help you prepare for an uncertain future. A good way to learn more about your options is to speak with a living trust and will attorney.

To find out more about using a power of attorney in Fremont, CA, we invite you to contact Singh Law Firm. Contact us at your next opportunity and we will be happy to schedule you for a one-on-one consultation with one of our lawyers.


It’s the job of your estate planning lawyer to help you plan for the future, protecting your interests and the interests of your family against all contingencies. As such, one of the key aspects of estate planning is ensuring your wishes are carried out even if you find yourself incapacitated, and unable to speak for yourself. One resource for doing so is the financial power of attorney.

In this post, we’re going to take a closer look at what a financial power of attorney is, and also explain the need for enlisting a power of attorney lawyer, like those here at Singh Law Firm.

Explaining the Power of Attorney

When we talk about powers of attorney (or durable power of attorney, as it’s sometimes called), we’re basically talking about legal documents that help you to outline your wishes for the event that you become medically incapacitated in some way, unable to speak or to voice decisions for yourself.

There are two primary kinds of power of attorney, medical and financial; for today, we’re focusing on the latter. Basically, a financial power of attorney allows you to name someone to whom you grant legal authority to make financial and business decisions on your behalf, should you be unable to make them on your own.

For example, what happens if you have an accident or injury that places you into a coma? If you have a financial power of attorney in place, then the person you appoint as your legal representative will be able to buy and sell businesses, complete real estate transactions, pay taxes, and handle other financial matters on your behalf.

This is an important way to ensure that your financial and business affairs don’t fall through the cracks, even in the event of a true medical catastrophe.

Does Everyone Need a Durable Power of Attorney?

You might wonder if this is really the kind of document you need included in your estate plan.

Generally speaking, we’re wary of making blanket statements about estate planning. All of our clients are different, and they face varied estate planning needs and priorities.

With that said, it’s important to remember that unexpected accidents, injuries, and illnesses can befall any of us; even if you are young and in robust health, there’s no guarantee you won’t get hit by a bus tomorrow. As such, clarifying your wishes and appointing legal representatives is definitely something that everyone should think about.

Should I Work with a Financial Attorney?

Another common question: Is it necessary to work with a financial attorney to help draft these key legal documents? Or, can it be handled on a DIY basis?

While it is certainly permissible to draft these documents on your own, there are a number of benefits to working with a lawyer. An attorney will be able to ensure you’re filling out the right forms and naming the right person as your legal representative. An attorney can help you keep your documents up to date. And, an attorney can help you align your financial power of attorney with your broader estate planning goals.

Talk to a Lawyer About Your Financial Power of Attorney

If you have any additional questions, or if you’re ready to start drafting a financial power of attorney, we invite you to contact our firm today. We’d love to advise you.

Singh Law Firm is a trusted estate planning counselor here in California, and our attorneys have ample experience with powers of attorney. Connect with us whenever you’re ready to chat about your estate planning needs and goals.


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