Managing your business, your personal finances, your legal affairs, and/or your real estate assets can require a lot of time and a lot of effort. Constant vigilance is required. The question is, what would happen if you suddenly became medically incapacitated, whether due to illness, injury, or accident? What would happen if you were suddenly, temporarily unable to manage these various responsibilities?
The Financial Power of Attorney was designed to address these very concerns. Basically, this is an estate planning document that lets you appoint someone as your legal agent, providing them with the authority to manage your finances or your property on your behalf.
Having a durable Power of Attorney is something that we recommend for many of our clients, especially those who own companies, real estate, or significant financial assets. After all, you never know when something might happen that renders you unable to keep up with your responsibilities. Being able to name a trusted agent can provide peace of mind, and also ensure that your affairs are maintained even if you are in the hospital or otherwise out of commission.
What Responsibilities Can You Assign with Your Durable Power of Attorney?
You may use your Power of Attorney to provide your agent with broad power over your business, your finances, or your personal property. However, you can also write the language of your Power of Attorney in such a way that your agent’s authority is more narrow or more focused. It’s ultimately up to you. Working with a Power of Attorney lawyer can help you determine exactly how to frame your document, and what level of power you need to assign to your named representative.
There are a few examples of the responsibilities you can assign to your agent. Some of the most common ones include:
- Using your financial assets to pay for your family’s everyday expenses.
- Paying your medical bills.
- Making deposits or withdrawals from your bank account.
- Preparing and filing your taxes on your behalf.
- Managing/maintaining your business.
- Managing your real estate investments, including your home.
- Hiring lawyers to represent you in court.
- Investing your money in stocks, bonds, etc.
- Overseeing your insurance policies.
- Overseeing your retirement accounts.
Again, you can more narrowly define the scope of responsibilities as you wish. Talk with your power of attorney lawyer to find out more about the options available to you.
Are There Any Limitations on Financial Power of Attorney Responsibilities?
Even if you provide your agent with broad authority over your affairs, there are some limitations. For example, your agent is generally expected to act in accordance with your best interests. Among other things, it is expected that your agent:
- Manage your assets, financial accounts, and personal property in an honest and reasonable way.
- Avoid creating any conflicts of interest between your interests and their own.
- Keep records of any actions or transactions made in your name.
Even with some limitations in place, your agent will ultimately have a lot of control over your life. As such, choosing someone reliable and trustworthy is a really important part of the process.
Learn More from Singh Law Firm
Having a Power of Attorney in Fremont, along with an advance healthcare directive, is crucial for preparing for the unexpected. A good way to consider your estate planning strategy is by meeting with a directive power of attorney expert, such as the lawyers at Singh Law Firm.
To speak with one of our living wills lawyers, we welcome you to contact Singh Law Firm today. We’d be happy to answer your questions about these vital estate planning documents.