As a financially responsible Californian, you likely have always personally handled all your finances from balancing your checkbook to keeping track of your 401(k). You may even own a family business or professional practice that requires you to make long-term financial decisions as well as day-to-day operational decisions. But what if you become ill or injured and cannot do these things for yourself?
As FindLaw explaines, executing a durable financial power of attorney could be one of the best money-related decisions you ever make. In it, you designate the person, called your financial agent or your financial attorney-in-fact, who you want to make your financial decisions for you in the event you cannot make them yourself. You also specify which decisions you want him or her to make for you and under what conditions you want him or her to make them.
Your durable financial power of attorney goes into effect the moment you execute it and remains in effect until such time, if ever, that you revoke it.
Financial agent duties
Bear in mind that you have complete control over the duties you assign to your financial agent. Consequently, your have a virtually unlimited number of choices. Nevertheless, most people turn over the following duties to their financial agent:
- To operate your business and pay its bills and taxes
- To pay your personal bills and taxes
- To collect and deposit the Social Security, retirement benefits or other periodic checks you receive
- To buy and sell assets for you
- To oversee and manage your investment accounts, real estate properties, etc.
- To buy life and other insurance for your business and for you personally
Naturally you should choose your financial agent carefully since (s)he will be the person who you trust to manage your financial affairs for your own best interests. In this way, putting your durable financial power of attorney into effect will give you the peace of mind of knowing that your financial affairs are in hands as competent as your own.
This is general educational information and not intended to provide legal advice.