Creating a financial power of attorney is a simple but an important estate planning tool

If you become incapacitated and have not taken the proper steps beforehand, your financial affairs may be thrown into chaos. One of the easiest, inexpensive and reliable ways to protect your affairs in a case like this is to arrange for another person to manage your finances through the execution of a durable financial power of attorney. If you don’t take this step, you could be placing your affairs and your estate at the mercy of the courts. You can either decide who will assist you in controlling your finances, or your spouse or other relatives will have to ask the courts for permission to gain control over your financial affairs.

A financial power of attorney is easy to set up. Some states have their own forms, but with the help of Dana and Associates, together we can create a valid document that will be simple to understand and easy to execute. In some instances, banks or brokerages may require a separate financial power of attorney to be set up, with which we can assist as well. In all cases, you will need to sign the document in front of a notary public.

You have the flexibility of deciding when the financial power of attorney takes effect. This can happen as soon as you sign it, or it can take effect only when a doctor certifies that you have become incapacitated.

The person you name as your financial power of attorney is known as your agent, and they have the legal authority to act on your behalf regarding your financial matters. Flexibility in the document you execute can give your agent broad powers over your finances, or you can limit that power to deal with only specific parts of your financial affairs. The choice is up to you.

Some people choose to have a financial power of attorney deal only with their personal finances, such as paying bills, collecting retirement funds or managing investments such as stocks, bonds and mutual funds. Others may want the financial power of attorney to operate their business to ensure it remains viable going forward.

In all cases, a financial power of attorney ends when you die. If you want that same person to keep handling your affairs after your death, you will need to take separate steps and name them as the executor of your estate.

Dana and Associates proudly serve Scottsdale, Mesa, Phoenix, Chandler, Old Town, Desert Ridge, Payson and surrounding Arizona communities.