If you are nearing retirement, your thoughts may be turning to estate planning matters, which include powers of attorney (POA).
Perhaps you already know who you would choose to manage your healthcare POA. But what abilities should the agent for your financial POA possess?
Understanding the financial POA
When creating durable powers of attorney, many people choose the same person to manage both their healthcare and their financial POA. However, depending on the complexity of your financial situation, you may feel more comfortable with a different person in charge. If you can no longer manage your financial matters, your agent will be responsible for
– accessing your bank accounts to pay bills including housing and healthcare
– managing your property
– filing your taxes
– making investment decisions
– collecting debts and managing payments
– assisting in applying for government benefits
Given these duties, you may want to name an agent who is an experienced businessperson, especially if he or she is a close relative or friend who is at least somewhat familiar with your financial matters.
The durable POA becomes effective as soon as you sign it, giving your agent the legal authority to act on your behalf about the financial matters you describe in the document. Keep in mind that earlier is better when creating powers of attorney. As you age, the possibility of some form of dementia arises. A POA is only legal when the principal signing it is mentally competent. Being proactive, choosing your agent and creating your financial POA will give you peace of mind as you enter the retirement phase of your life. Now is the time to act. Don’t wait. Please call me for a free 15-minute consultation.