Select Your Financial Agent

1. Print a Durable Power of Attorney for Finances.

  • Locate legal documents that comply with the regulations in your state. Each state also provides its own Durable Power of Attorney form.
  • You can complete a standard form you get from an attorney, or use trusted software to prepare the document.
  • Some banks and brokerage companies have their own durable power of attorney forms. You may wish to prepare an additional durable power of attorney using their form to make it easier for your Agent to work with each institution.

2. Choose your Financial Agent.

  • Your financial agent can be a family member or friend 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.
  • Although it’s best to have only one person handling your finances at a time, you should designate alternative Agents in case your first Agent is not available to help you.

3. Complete and sign your Power of Attorney form.

  • Sign your power of attorney document in the presence of one or more witnesses.
  • Depending on the state where you reside, your signature must be witnessed either by a notary public or individuals who you are not designating as your financial agent.
  • If your agent will have authority to deal with your real estate, you must put a copy of the document on file at the local land records office. In two states, North and South Carolina, you must record your power of attorney at the land records office for it to be durable.

4. Give copies to your Financial Agent and family members.

  • Give copies of the signed form to your Financial Agents, family members, and legal and financial advisors.
  • Store your Durable Power of Attorney for Finances in your End-of-Life Binder.

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