Financial Power of Attorney

A financial power of attorney is a legal document by which you can authorize someone to act on your behalf whether that be making important financial decisions, selling assets or settling debts. This person is called an attorney-in-fact, although the person you designate does not have to be an attorney as the name might suggest.

Even though an attorney-in-fact is legally obligated to act in your best interest, you should appoint someone who knows you and your life situation well and whom you trust. If you are married, your spouse is usually a good choice with a second person named in case your spouse is unable to serve.

A broad power of attorney document can authorize your attorney-in-fact to perform any action with regard to your property that you yourself could perform. The power can become effective immediately and endure beyond your incapacity, which is known as a durable power of attorney, or it can become effective only if you become incapacitated. The durable power of attorney document is useful for designating another person to make financial decisions for you in the event of you become mentally or physically disabled. Further, it can help avoid a legal declaration of incapacity and the court appointment of a guardian.

Contact an estate attorney at Bagwell Holt Smith P.A. to discuss appointing a power of attorney.

Estate Planning and Probate Attorneys