The end of May is a busy time filled with Memorial Day observances, end-of-school activities, graduations, and lake trips. May usually means you are spending extra time with those who mean the most to you. You can take advantage of this time to talk to your family about your estate planning wishes, including a General Durable Power of Attorney for financial purposes, which is an extremely important part of your estate plan, whether you’re 18 or 88.
What is a General Durable Power of Attorney for Financial Purposes?
A General Durable Power of Attorney for financial purposes is a document prepared for you (the principal) in which you name an individual or individuals (your attorney-in-fact) to act on your behalf concerning your financial matters in the event you are unable to do so for any reason during your life.
A General Durable Power of Attorney for financial purposes can cover managing your financial accounts, insurance, buying and selling vehicles and property, and other actions related to your assets. Granting someone power of attorney doesn’t mean you give that person total control of your finances, but it does allow your attorney-in-fact to legally handle many financial tasks for you.
In deciding who to name as attorney-in-fact, a spouse or adult child may be the appropriate individual to name. You should also name at least one alternate in the event the first named individual is unable to serve. The most important consideration is that whomever you name should be trustworthy and someone who will act wisely. An attorney-in-fact has a fiduciary obligation to make decisions that are in the best interests of the principal.
A General Durable Power of Attorney ceases to be valid after your death, so it does not take the place of a Trust Agreement and/or Last Will and Testament. A person cannot execute a Durable Power of Attorney if he/she lacks the mental capacity and in many situations people do not recognize the need to have one until it is too late. So the time to talk to an attorney about your General Durable Power of Attorney for financial purposes is now.
Please call us (417-882-2828) to discuss your need for a General Durable Power of Attorney for financial purposes and other estate planning documents.