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Why you need a financial power of attorney in your estate plan

Your estate plan should contain several elements. These all work together to ensure that your wishes are followed when you aren’t around to speak for yourself. You probably know that you need to get your will in place. You may even recognize that you should have trusts.

Many people don’t think about setting up power of attorney documents so their affairs can be handled if they become incapacitated. You should have one for health care and another for finances.

What does the financial power of attorney do?

A financial power of attorney enables you to designate someone to take care of your money and financial obligations. This can include doing anything that you’d normally handle. You can give them the authority to pay your bills, sell things for you, handle your investments or make purchases.

You should ensure that the person you choose is someone who will make decisions based on what’s best for you. They should be able to put their own wishes aside and do what they think you’d do. Ideally, you’ll choose someone who won’t let their emotions get the best of them so they can make sound decisions. It’s best to talk to the person you’re designating so you can pass along any special instructions to them.

Creating an estate plan means that you need to think about what you want to happen after you pass away, but you also must consider what you need to happen if you become incapacitated. Working with someone who can help you to set things up so they can be followed is beneficial.

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