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Are you ready to appoint a financial power of attorney?

As a young person, you may have never considered needing the help of other people. As you got older, however, you likely realized that you will need some form of assistance when you reach your golden years or potentially even before then. Rather than leave your finances up to chance in the event that you become unable to make decisions on your own, you may wish to consider appointing a trusted individual to act in your stead.

What a powers of attorney does

A financial power of attorney agent - as the name suggests - handles the financial aspects of your life for a period of time. Other types of powers of attorney exist, and you could appoint an individual for healthcare-related decisions or a single individual to handle both health and financial decisions.

Financial duties of the power of attorney

As you create your financial power of attorney documents, you can determine what responsibilities your agent will hold. The individual could have duties such as:

  • Paying bills
  • Attending to medical expenses
  • Transferring funds and assets
  • Managing your bank accounts

These are just a few duties, and you could limit your agent's power to a certain number of responsibilities. Alternatively, you could give him or her an extended range of duties that could include running your business or making investments.

Understanding durability

When you create the documents appointing your agent, you may wish to consider durability. A durable financial power of attorney means that in the event of your incapacitation, your appointed agent remains your agent until he or she is no longer needed. If you become incapacitated again, your agent could then act in your stead again automatically. If your appointment is not durable, the agent's power ends if you recover from your incapacity and then does not go into effect again, even if you are incapacitated once more.

What legal documents do you need?

In order to ensure that your agent appointment is legally binding, you must through the proper legal channels when creating your documents. In some cases, you may need multiple documents for the various agencies that hold your accounts. Having these documents may prevent unnecessary complications when your agent needs to access your accounts.

In order to determine which documents you'll need, you may wish to consult experienced Texas elder law attorneys. A discussion with legal professionals will help you better understand what powers may be granted under a power of attorney appointment and what you may want to take into consideration when considering your agent candidates.

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