A financial power of attorney grants immunity to a relative or another person of your choice (the agent) to make financial decisions on your behalf in case you would find yourself in a situation where you can no longer make financial decisions. Your power of attorney itself is going to lay out what decisions your agent can and cannot make for you. They can be very broad powers, they can be very specific powers, they can be limited powers.
Deciding to give power of attorney is a decision that needs to be thought of carefully. It could be very helpful for some people, and it could be very risky to others because of potential misuse. Therefore, it is very important for someone to choose an agent very carefully.
The terms of your Financial Power of Attorney will depend on your specific needs.
In a Financial Power of Attorney, you can grant an agent the ability to give money away on your behalf. You can set parameters for that purpose. For example, it could be that you’ve been gifting money to people before and your agent would just carry that on. This is something that could be very helpful for people who want to start giving part of their Estate for tax reasons.
Your Financial Power of Attorney can put the federal gift limits, you can put in different parameters for special occasions. For example, you have been giving money to your grandchildren every year for Christmas, you can request that your agent keeps carrying this tradition on.
You can grant the power to manage your finances, pay your bills, handle your bank account.
A Power of Attorney only works while the person who wrote it is still alive. As soon as that person dies, the power of attorney is invalidated.
Powers of Attorney can work while a person is incapacitated or they can work immediately. So, a durable power of attorney is typically going to work instantaneously. As soon as you hand this Power of Attorney to your agent, they could walk into your bank and they could withdraw funds from your account.
It is important to be well informed when deciding what Financial Power of Attorney is best for you. Attorney Lauren Strandbergh, Estate Planning Lawyer in Ravenna and Stow, can help you make the best decision for yourself.
The other option is a springing power of attorney. It typically requires that two doctors would find you incapacitated. If you are nervous about an agent misusing the power of attorney you gave him/her, then the springing Financial Power of Attorney is a little bit safer than the Durable Power of Attorney.
A Springing Financial Power of Attorney requires that your agent has you held incapacitated which is the more difficult process and frankly a more unpleasant process. Nobody likes to hold their loved ones incapacitated, yet it can happen.
It could be the difference between just going to mom saying: “look, you need me to help you put this power of attorney together, it’s time for me to start using it,” versus saying: “Mom, I need you to go down to the doctor with me because you’re incapacitated, so we need to have these doctors declare you incompetent, since you don’t want to give me Power of Attorney.” It’s a much more unpleasant and inconvenient process, which is why most people dislike it.
In the end, the most important part of the process is probably picking an agent that you trust, somebody who’s familiar with your financial situations who knows where your accounts are, where your bills need to be paid, etc… You want someone responsible.
Attorney Rachel Dodds, Estate Planning lawyer in Portage, Summit and Cuyahoga Counties, can help you gain peace of mind by securing these issues. Consulting with an experienced Estate planning lawyer is essential in making sure that your final wishes regarding your property, your loved ones, and your healthcare options are carried out.
Not all lawyers are created equal. In difficult times, it is important to select a lawyer who can relate to your situation in a very professional and sensible way.
Attorney Dodds has the experience you need to address all your questions regarding wills and probate, trusts, drafting and execution of all legal documents, and estate administration. She is a knowledgeable and compassionate lawyer.
Attorney Dodds is a Member of Weisenburger Law Offices, a law firm in Ravenna, OH, located 5 minutes from the Portage County Courthouse. Our lawyers are dedicated to serving clients in Portage and Summit Counties. Weisenburger Law Offices was created in Portage County in 2000 and our lawyers have been servicing the Portage County community ever since.
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