A financial power of attorney, also known as a general power of attorney, allows a person appointed by you (your agent) to act on your behalf with respect to your financial affairs.

Most people appoint family members or close friends to handle these important responsibilities. Without a financial power of attorney, if you suffer an injury or illness and become incompetent, it is likely that the Court would appoint a legal guardian to act on your behalf. This formal court process can be time consuming, costly, and uncomfortable for you and your family.

Close-up photo of a Power of Attorney document with a pen laying across it
Financial powers of attorney that we create are most often durable, which means that the powers you grant to your agent endure through any incapacity you might face. When we meet together, we will discuss when you want the power of attorney to be effective.

An immediately-effective durable Power of Attorney survives your incapacity and generally provides for your agent to be able to sign documents and take actions on your behalf in regards to your financial affairs.

A springing durable Power of Attorney allows the person you have designated to use the financial power of attorney when one of two things happens.Either you lose the ability to make financial decisions (e.g. the loss of capacity to prudently manage your own financial affairs), or you give permission for your agent to act. To establish your lack of capacity to manage your financial affairs, typically one or more physicians are required to provide written certification of your incapacity. Alternatively, you may sign a written authorization in the future. In other words, your agent cannot act on your behalf until such time as a physician determines that you can no longer make your own financial decisions or you choose to activate the document yourself.

We will work with you to decide which type of financial power of attorney best suits your overall estate planning goals.