The Pinder Plotkin Legal Team Can Help!
The Durable Power of Attorney (Financial Power of Attorney) is one of the most important estate planning documents you can execute. We are often contacted by family members who are informed the “need” a Power of Attorney to assist a relative that is incapacitated. Unfortunately, if someone is not-legally competent to consent/execute a Power of Attorney, a Guardianship is necessary (higher cost and untimely).
What happens if I become ill and cannot conduct my financial affairs, or I become incompetent? The Financial Power of Attorney authorizes an agent to act on your behalf as your attorney-in-fact. The document provides broad powers to your agent, which include, but are not limited to, the ability to manage your financial accounts (banks and brokerages), buy and sell real estate on our behalf, execute contracts on your behalf, file your taxes, file or defend a law suit on your behalf. They basically step into your shoes. With great power comes great responsibility. Your agent has a fiduciary obligation to only use the Financial Power of Attorney for your benefit. However, reasonably minds can differ when it comes to what is in your best interest.
If you are a small business owner without a Financial Power of Attorney, ask yourself what will happen to your business if you are temporarily in a comma from a car accident? If you have a Financial Power of Attorney, your agent can operate your business in your absence with ease. If not, your family will need to turn to your employees, if any (with little or no rights to direct their actions) or the corporate documentation (i.e. LLC Operating Agreement).
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