A power of attorney is a document in which one individual gives another individual, the agent, the power to make decisions on their behalf in the event that they become incapacitated or if they are directed to perform. A financial power of attorney gives power over an individual’s financial affairs. The individual selecting the agent may chose anyone that he desires to oversee his financial affairs in the case of incapacity or at his direction. If the agent agrees to the appointment, he will be required to accept his appointment by signing the actual drafted document. The individual may draft the financial power of attorney or may hire an attorney to draft the document.
Most financial power of attorneys are also durable power of attorneys. A durable power of attorney commences when it is signed by the parties and remains in effect until it is canceled. If the financial power of attorney is canceled, the agent and anyone who may have dealt with the agent should be notified of the cancellation. No reason need be given to support the cancellation.
When a financial power of attorney is executed, the individual appointing the agent does not give up his property. The appointing individual still may manage his own affairs. The financial power of attorney kicks in when the appointing individual is unable to care for his affairs or when the appointing individual directs the agent to act on his behalf.
Duties of a Financial Power of Attorney
The agent has numerous duties. The agent is required to perform his duties to the best of his ability and as directed in the actual document. The specific duties of the agent may and are often included in the financial power of attorney document. Some of the agent’s duties may include:
- Handling all aspects of the person’s financial affairs.
- Handling the transfer of assets such as stocks and bonds.
- Handling any business affairs that the person may have.
- Have access to your accounts, money, and investments.
- Managing real estate.
Selection of an Agent
The agent should be a completely trustworthy individual. The agent may be a spouse, an adult child, a friend, a relative or some other individual. Co-agents may also be selected if one is unable to decide on just one agent.