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A durable power of attorney for finances allows you to choose someone you trust to handle your financial affairs if you’re not able to do it yourself.

If you don’t have a durable power of attorney for finances, then a judge will assign a conservator to take charge of your financial affairs.

Your financial agent is authorized to pay your bills, communicate with your bank, manage property, pay taxes, handle your income from retirement accounts and social security, and manage your investments.

A durable power of attorney for finances is helpful if you have financial assets and want to avoid misunderstandings or arguments among family members about how your money should be managed or spent.

Who To Choose

Your financial agent can be a family member or someone else who you trust and feel confident will follow your instructions. It’s better not to select a family member who doesn’t understand or agree with how you would like your finances to be handled.

In addition to signing financial power of attorney documents, it is important to put your financial wishes in writing and share them with all immediate family members, so that they understand clearly that your financial agent is in fact following your wishes.

Although it’s best to have only one agent handling your finances, you’ll want to designate alternative agents in case your first agent is unable to help you.

How to Do It

To create your durable power of attorney for finances, you’ll need to fill out legal documents that comply with the regulations in your state. You can hire an attorney or use trusted software to prepare the documents.

You’ll need to sign your power of attorney documents in the presence of one or more witnesses. Depending on the state where you reside, your signature will be witnessed either by a notary public or individuals who you are not designating as your financial agent.

Unless you revoke your durable power of attorney for finances, it will remain in force until your death.

Related Issues
Debts and other liabilities
Direct transfer of assets
Estate planning
Life insurance
Safe deposit box
Will or living trust

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