Understanding Financial Power of Attorney

Secure Your Financial Management With a Durable Power of Attorney

At Goldberg & Goldberg, we recognize the significant impact a durable financial power of attorney can have on your life. This legal instrument is designed to ensure that someone you trust can manage your finances if you’re ever incapable of doing so.

Creating a financial power of attorney is not only an act of foresight for yourself but can also serve as a profound relief for your family. Without this document, and in the event of your incapacitation, your family might face the inevitability of court proceedings to obtain control over your financial decisions.

Activation of a Financial Power of Attorney

A financial power of attorney can become effective immediately upon your signing, as often arranged between spouses for unforeseen circumstances or travel-related absences. However, it is crucial to indicate that the power of attorney is “durable” to ensure it doesn’t become void should you become incapacitated.

Alternatively, you may opt for a “springing” durable power of attorney, which only becomes active after a medical professional certifies your incapacitation. This type of power of attorney preserves your autonomy over financial decisions until such a certification occurs.

Roles and Responsibilities of Your Agent

By executing a durable power of attorney, you grant legal permission for another person, referred to as your agent or attorney-in-fact, to handle financial matters on your behalf. The scope of your agent’s authority can vary widely based on your preferences and can include tasks such as:

  • Managing day-to-day expenses for you and your family
  • Conducting real estate transactions and property management
  • Procuring government benefits like Medicare or Social Security
  • Investing in securities and handling financial institution transactions
  • Obtaining insurance and addressing tax matters
  • Overseeing small business operations
  • Claiming inheritance and managing trusts
  • Representing your interests in legal situations

Your agent has a legal obligation to act with your best interests at heart, keeping careful records and avoiding any conflicts of interest.

Establishing a Financial Power of Attorney

Crafting a legally sound durable power of attorney can be as simple as completing and signing a form, witnessed by a notary public. Depending on local legislation, additional steps may include the presence of witnesses or filing the document with a land records office, especially if real estate is involved.

Part of our commitment to you at Goldberg & Goldberg includes providing a comprehensive approach to your legal needs. Feel free to call us at (301) 654-5757 for a no-cost consultation regarding your power of attorney concerns.

Termination of a Financial Power of Attorney

It’s important to note that a durable power of attorney concludes upon your passing, signaling that it cannot be used to manage posthumous affairs. For such matters, you will need to designate an executor in your will.

Other circumstances leading to the end of a durable power of attorney include revocation while you are mentally competent, annulment following divorce, court invalidation due to mental incompetence or malfeasance at the time of the document’s signing, or the lack of an available agent. Ensuring your affairs are in order with a secondary agent can mitigate the risk of an unrepresented status.

At Goldberg & Goldberg, we are here to guide you through these complex considerations and help you secure your financial future. Contact us today at (301) 654-5757 to arrange your complimentary consultation.

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