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Do you need a durable financial power of attorney?

As part of creating an effective estate plan and protecting your end-of-life wishes, it is often important to consider appointing someone to carry durable financial power of attorney for you. The person you choose to carry this authority must understand the importance of this position and have the faculties to make sober judgments and dependably represent your interests.

Assigning durable financial power of attorney to an individual is a fairly simple process, essentially allowing a person who accepts this role to access and control your finances. While this certainly comes with its own set of risks, it is important to ensure that there is someone to look after your financial interests in the event that you cannot do so yourself.

Once granted, a durable financial power of attorney gives the keys to your financial world to another individual. However, if you choose to not make the powers durable, then they only transfer to your financial representative if you are incapacitated. Without explicit durability, a person may act as your financial representative while you cannot act for yourself, but once you regain that capacity, the representative loses power to act on your behalf. This power can easily fall into abuse, so be sure that you take appropriate precautions to protect your interests.

If you're considering assigning a durable financial power of attorney, be sure to consider your candidate carefully and understand the implications of granting such power to someone else. An experienced attorney can help you assess your needs and create a personalized plan that protects your rights and keeps your priorities secure.

Source: Findlaw, "Durable Financial Power of Attorney," accessed Jan. 26, 2018

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