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Durable financial power of attorney: Choosing an agent

Do you have concerns about what will happen to your finances in the event of an incapacitation? No one wants to think about this, but planning for the future is the responsible thing to do.

Without a durable financial power of attorney, you never know what could happen if you're incapacitated and unable to make decisions on your own. Fortunately, you can add this to your estate plan to give you and your family the peace of mind your deserve.

Choose an agent

There's a lot to think about when creating a durable financial power of attorney, such as including the types of tasks and responsibilities your agent may have to take on. These can include but are not limited to the following:

  • Paying your bills
  • Paying medical expenses
  • Paying your taxes
  • Collecting any money due to you
  • Managing retirement benefits and assets
  • Accessing your financial accounts
  • Buying insurance on your behalf
  • Managing real estate, such as your primary home and rental properties
  • Operating your small business
  • Selling and/or transferring assets as necessary
  • Hiring someone to represent you, such as an attorney

It's important to remember that your agent does not have the power to do whatever they want. Instead, they're required by law to act in your best interest.

When you choose the right agent, you'll have fewer concerns about something possibly going wrong.

For example, many people choose a spouse or adult child to act as their agent. They trust this person to make the right decisions, so they can confidently name them as the agent of their durable financial power of attorney.

Choose an agent who is young and healthy, as you don't want this person to pass on before you. If this does happen, you'll need to adjust your durable financial power of attorney accordingly.

The law does not state that you have to create a durable financial power of attorney, but this legal document will give you peace of mind.

There is a lot to think about when creating a durable financial power of attorney, so give yourself plenty of time to consider the finer details. The decisions you make up front could impact you in the future, so you want to avoid mistakes at all costs.

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