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What are the details of a durable financial power of attorney?

Many people create a will with the idea that this is the only estate planning document they need. For this reason, they overlook the many benefits associated with a durable financial power of attorney.

In short, a durable financial power of attorney is a document with which you can appoint another person to manage your finances in the event that you're incapacitated and unable to do so on your own.

There are many important questions to answer in regards to a durable financial power of attorney, including who you will appoint as your agent.

Since this person will be dealing with high level financial decisions, they must be both responsible and trustworthy. Some of the things that your agent may have to do include:

-- Pay your bills and taxes.

-- Pay any medical expenses.

-- Manage your real estate.

-- Access a variety of financial accounts, such as bank accounts and retirement accounts.

-- Make investments on your behalf.

-- Collect retirement benefits.

-- Purchase and/or manage insurance policies.

As you can see, your durable financial power of attorney agent could be staffed with many responsibilities. While this person has the right to make important decisions, they must do so with your best interests in mind.

If you're concerned about what would happen to your finances in the event that you become incapacitated, a durable financial power of attorney can give you the peace of mind you're seeking.

Once you create this document, as long as you do so in a legal manner, you can feel better about the future and your estate plan as a whole.

Source: FindLaw, "Durable Financial Power of Attorney," accessed Jan. 12, 2017

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