A durable power of attorney is a document that allows you to provide authority to someone (known as an agent or attorney-in-fact) to manage your personal property and finances if you are unable to do so due to incapacity. Your agent can be given the legal authority to pay your bills, manage banking and investments, prepare tax returns, manage personal property and real estate, bring legal actions on your behalf, and even nominate a guardian for you or your minor children.
If you do not have a power of attorney and you become incapacitated, it will be too late for you to name an agent to manage your personal and financial affairs. Although family or friends may be able to manage some of your property, the court may have to appoint a guardian to manage it for you. Selling stocks, listing a house for sale and transferring title, withdrawing money from a bank account, and applying for insurance benefits are just some of the actions that may require a court-appointed guardian. This process can be intrusive and expensive. The law requires that that all actions of the guardian be approved by the court, which means the records are open to the public.
You can avoid the hassle and heartache with proper planning while you are healthy, and having a plan in place will give you great peace of mind. Contact us today to get started.