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Should you create a durable financial power of attorney?

There are many ways to create an estate plan that gives you the peace of mind you're seeking.

In addition to a will or trust, which is designed to ensure that the right people receive your assets upon your death, there are other estate planning documents you can use to your advantage.

A durable financial power of attorney is something to consider, as this allows another person to manage your finances in the event of an incapacitation.

While a durable financial power of attorney goes into effect once you sign on the dotted line, your agent doesn't have the power to do anything unless you are incapacitated and unable to make your own decisions.

Some of the tasks your agent can take on include:

  • Paying your bills and taxes
  • Collecting any income that is due to you
  • Paying medical expenses
  • Managing your real estate
  • Managing any business interest
  • Accessing your financial accounts
  • Collecting retirement benefits
  • Selling and/or transferring assets
  • Buying insurance on your behalf

Although your agent will have a lot of power, remember this: he or she is always required to act in your best interests.

Since this person has so much responsibility, you need to be careful about who you select. You need to settle on an agent with financial experience and knowledge who you can trust and rely on if your health takes a turn for the worse.

You are not required by law to create a durable financial power of attorney, but this is a nice addition to any estate plan. It can give you and your family peace of mind in the event of your incapacity.

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