Our Tip of the Week: Designate a trustworthy person in your life as your Financial Power of Attorney. A Financial Power of Attorney is similar to a Health Care Proxy. While a Health Care Proxy is an individual you have designated in your Advance Care Directive to make decisions on your behalf regarding your care in an instance where you are incapacitated, a Financial Power of Attorney has legal authority to make decisions regarding the management of your assets should you become unable to administer them yourself. A Financial Power of Attorney should be someone you not only trust, but who also has some knowledge of investing and finance. If you are married or partnered, designating your significant other as your Financial Power of Attorney can ensure that they are able to refinance or sell joint property.
How-to Suggestion: To designate a Financial Power of Attorney, contact a lawyer licensed to practice in your state. If you choose to create your own document, your local library, office supply shop or bank may carry the necessary template. If designating a Financial Power of Attorney without the aid of a lawyer, be sure to verify whether the template you are using is legally recognized in your state.
Always share your wishes with your trusted inner circle, and notify a select few individuals of where and how to access your legal documents in the event you become incapacitated.
For more information on designating a Financial Power of Attorney and for other estate planning tips, check out our Estate Planning page.