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Financial Powers of Attorney

A power of attorney is an authorization to act on someone else's behalf in a legal or business matter. A financial power of attorney or durable power of attorney for finances is more specific. It is a way for someone to legally manage your finances if you become unable to do so yourself.

A financial power of attorney can be broad or limited. For example, you could grant a financial power of attorney to sell a car or house, or to buy and sell securities, or to handle all of your finances.

A financial power of attorney can go into effect as soon as you sign it, or you can specify that it doesn't go into effect until a specifically defined event occurs such as a doctor certifies that you are incapacitated (called a "springing" durable power of attorney).

If you become incapacitated and don't have a durable financial power of attorney, then your family will probably have to ask a court for authority to handle your affairs.

Your durable financial power of attorney ends when you die.

Legal experts typically assert that most people should have a durable financial power of attorney. To ensure that you are appropriately covered, you should consult a legal professional.

You may need to make mare than one durable financial power of attorney because some financial institutions (including brokerage companies) have their own durable power of attorney form.

Power of Attorney for Finances from FindLaw.com and Financial Powers of Attorney from Nolo.com provide more information about how a financial power of attorney works.


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