Powers of Attorney/Advanced Health Care Directives Durable Power of Attorney For Financial Management Advanced Health Care Directive

Durable Power of Attorney For Financial Management

A Durable Power Of Attorney For Financial Management is a simple, reliable way to arrange for someone to make your financial decisions in the event you become unable to make them yourself.

A Durable Power Of Attorney For Financial Management is a document executed by a Principal. The Principal appoints another person, the Agent, to act on behalf of the Principal to manage the Principal's financial affairs without having to resort to court proceedings (like a Conservatorship) The Agent has the authority to act on behalf of the Principal only if the Principal becomes incapacitated.

Definition of a Springing Power of Attorney

While the Principal can manage her own affairs, the document is ineffective and is dormant. If the document states that the power "springs to life" on the Principal's incapacity, or at some other specified future time or contingency, it is a "springing power of attorney."

Determination of When the Power "Springs To Life"

One way to provide for determining when the principal is incapacitated is for the Principal to designate in advance one or more persons who have the power to determine her capacity conclusively. Physicians may be designated alone or jointly with others.

Consequences of Not Executing a Durable Power of Attorney For Financial Management

If a person becomes incapacitated without having prepared a Durable Power Of Attorney For Financial Management, a court proceeding (a Conservatorship) is probably inescapable. The person's spouse, close relatives or companion must request authority from the court to manage at least some of the person's financial affairs.

If the incapacitated person's relatives go to court to have a conservator appointed to manage the person's financial affairs, they must ask the judge to rule that the person cannot take care of his own affairs. Since the court proceedings are public, this could be embarrassing.

Conservatorship proceedings are also expensive. The court requires numerous fees, some that usually must be paid every year or two.

Although a conservatorship is not necessarily permanent, it can only be ended by the Court.

Advantages of a Durable Power Of Attorney For Financial Management

Duties of The Agent

Usually the Principal gives her Agent broad powers over her finances. However, the Principal can give her Agent as much, or as little, power as she wishes.

Following are some things Agents are usually give the authority to do on behalf of the Principal:

Responsibilities of the Agent

No matter what powers the Principal gives the Agent, the Agent must:

Characteristics of a Good Agent

Selecting an Agent under the Durable Power Of Attorney For Financial Management is an extremely important decision.

The Agent must have: