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An overview of a durable financial power of attorney

An estate plan can include many different documents, and among them will be power of attorney documents. While many of our readers understand the basic uses of wills and trusts, some people may be unsure of the uses of a power of attorney document, particularly a durable financial power of attorney.

The concept of a durable financial power of attorney is actually quite simple: it allows a person other than yourself to manage your finances and financial commitments if you are unable to manage them yourself. The document provides the legal authority for the appointed person to act in your interests when it comes to financial matters.

So, what financial issues can the appointed person address once the need is present? Well, for starters, it can be as simple as making sure your monthly bills are paid from your designated banking accounts. It can also include the power to do your taxes or take care of any real estate that you own. For business owners, it may include the responsibility for running the business. And, it is not uncommon that the appointed person may need to make financial moves such as selling property or managing investments.

Lastly, the term "durable" may seem confusing. But, in essence, when the grant of financial power of attorney is "durable" this means that the power is permanently in effect, unless the document is revoked or otherwise invalidated. Having the power of attorney be durable means that you don't need to change it after it is drafted and executed, unless you want to.

Source: FindLaw, "Durable Financial Power of Attorney," Accessed March 26, 2017

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