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Durable Power of Attorney for Finance

General Durable Power of Attorney allows you to name someone as your Agent (or someone who can sign documents for you). Your Agent must act in your best interests and may handle your finances or other obligations, such as paying your bills. You may customize how much authority you want your Agent to have, and whether it is effective immediately upon your signing of the document or only in the event you become incapacitated.

Do I need one?

Yes, having a Durable Power of Attorney in place allows someone to act on your behalf if you become injured or sick and are not able to take care of your financial affairs yourself.

When do I need one?

When you turn 18. While it is improbable that you will need a Durable Power of Attorney due to your incapacity when you are young and healthy, having a Durable Power of Attorney in place ensures that a trusted family member or friend can look out for your financial well being if this possibility occurs. Additionally, many people find having a valid Durable Power of Attorney is a convenient legal document that allows someone to act on your behalf, especially for married couples, young adults, and aging family members.

What happens if I don't have one?

Your family will need to go to court to be appointed to make financial decisions on your behalf. This process is lengthy, and the fees associated with the court process are significantly more expensive than preparing a Durable Power of Attorney.

When is the document effective?

This document is only effective during your lifetime and is no longer valid when you pass away.

Example of When You Would Need
this Document Per Life Stage

Adulthood

Without a properly signed Durable Power of Attorney, you are legally prevented from being able to review your child’s education records.

Married

You are traveling to visit your parents, but you are in the process of refinancing your home. Your spouse may sign the closing documents on your behalf.

With Kids

Heading out of town for a second honeymoon and leaving the kids with your parents? A certain type of power of attorney may be prepared to allow your children’s caregiver to have temporary authority to make medical and financial decisions on your behalf.

Moving

Certain states have laws that require or suggest certain language be included in a Durable Power of Attorney for Finances.  Banks and other financial institutions in those states will often refuse to recognize legal forms that are valid in other states if they do not include the language required in your new home state.

Solo

With age, you may find that your financial matters become more burdensome. Under a Durable Power of Attorney, you may name an agent to act on your behalf and make this easier on you.

Without a properly signed Durable Power of Attorney, you are legally prevented from being able to review your child’s education records.

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