What Responsibilities Should a Financial Power of Attorney Have?

There may come a time when you need assistance regarding the financial matters in your life. It is better to make preparations for this time now, while you are still sharp and able to make decisions.

This is the perfect time to consider finding someone you can trust to receive your financial power of attorney.

Many people are confused about the exact duties of a financial power of attorney. Hopefully, we can clear up some of that confusion.

What a Financial Power of Attorney Can Do

A financial power of attorney is a document that in regards to your financial matters can give as little or as much responsibility as you wish to your designee. For instance, if you are still capable of keeping track of financial obligations but are physically unable to do things like personal banking or other in-person transactions, you can grant those powers to your agent. Alternatively, if you need someone who will make sure all your bills are paid on time and can make financial decisions about selling your home or car, you can also assign those things.

Each financial power of attorney is specialized to the needs of the individual. Normally, the person entrusted with financial power of attorney can deal with:

  • Paying rent and other bills
  • Paying your taxes
  • Buying insurance for you
  • Paying medical bills
  • Accessing your banking accounts
  • Buying and selling assets at your request
  • Running your small business
  • Working with your accountant

Is a Financial Power of Attorney All or Nothing?

The wonderful thing about a financial power of attorney is that it includes only what you want it to.

You can also set the financial power of attorney up so that it covers more responsibility over time. For example, what you want help with now can change in the future.

Moreover, you have the option of revoking the financial power of attorney at any time. If you feel one person may not be able to handle all aspects of your finances, you can assign two people, each with different areas of responsibility.

Someone may be capable of handling everyday financial duties and even taxes, but you don’t think that person can also understand matters regarding your investments. In this case, you have the ability to assign financial power of attorney to someone else for that particular task.

It is not advisable, however, to get too many people involved where finances are concerned, so think hard and choose someone who is able to take responsibility for whatever you need to be handled.

What If My Financial Situation Changes?

There is what is referred to as a springing power of attorney. With this type of financial power of attorney, you can give your designee the ability to make decisions only when you are incapacitated, or at some other time or event to occur in the future. 

It is essential to consider whether you want to include durability into your financial power of attorney planning.  Whereas a springing power of attorney might come into action after a certain event, you may have to start over from scratch after the event has occurred, or for some other unforeseen reason.  A durable power of attorney for finances is much more permanent and may be a better fit for your scenario than an otherwise more temporary solution.

For example, if there is a chance that you will spend time back and forth in a hospital or if your health is likely to steadily decline, which would require the financial power of attorney agent to take on more duties, a durable financial power of attorney might help ensure that timely decisions are made and less legal back and forth need occur demonstrated their designation as your agent.

Let Us Help With your Financial Power of Attorney

If you have questions about setting up a power of attorney of any type, the experienced staff at Atlanta Wills + Trusts Law Group by Refeca Law LLC are here to help answer them.

We can help you decide what powers you can or should give someone, how to know when you may want to share your financial duties, and all other details about the legal workings of powers of attorneys, legal and otherwise.

Contact us now to give yourself peace of the mind in the future.