If you become ill, are delayed on an overseas trip, or become temporarily incapacitated, how will your bill get paid? Who could access your accounts and send you money? A recent article in USAToday explains the importance of having someone in place to handle your finances in an emergency: “It might not matter so much if your phone bill is a month late, but if you miss a life insurance premium payment and you’re 80 years old, your policy may lapse, making it hard to get a new one.”
A financial power of attorney, known as a durable power of attorney, lasts indefinitely and can be canceled or revoked at any time. Lombard estate planning attorney Mario Godoy says,
A financial power of attorney gives the person you designate the legal authority to take financial actions on your behalf. The person you give this responsibility to should be someone you trust. When you decide who you will give your financial POA to, let them know what you’ve done and what you expect from them.
1. Contact An Estate Planning Attorney
An estate planning attorney is your legal advocate who can set up a legally enforceable POA and explain the ramifications of a POA and advise you on the right powers to convey to fit your specific needs and circumstances.
2. Inform The Designee
Be sure to tell the person you have authorized to have your financial power of attorney under what conditions they can use the POA, what accounts they will be asked to manage and for how long.
3. Safeguard Your Legal Documents
If someone will have your financial POA, be sure to tell them where the document is located and how they can access it. Unlike a will where the family typically consults an attorney to look for a will, if no one knows where the POA is – or that it even exists – it will be useless.
A financial power of attorney is an important document to identify who you want to make your financial decisions if you become incapacitated in some way. For more information about how a power of attorney could benefit your situation, contact Estate & Probate Legal Group in Illinois today at 630.800.0112.