The Big Five! Durable Power of Attorney

Someone you trust and who you appointed can act for you

Remembering – “if you are unable to conduct your business, e.g., pay your bills, someone you trust and who you appointed can act for you, and do that in your best interests.”

What does this mean? Well, you know life. You have to watch your bank balance, pay your bills, file your taxes, sign a contract for house repair, sell a car, renew a CD, and on and on. So you do all this just fine, but what happens if you have an accident and go into a coma, are just too sick to do anything, or find you are getting less capable of handling your legal and financial affairs? If you have a durable power of attorney (POA), you can have someone act for you even if you become mentally or otherwise unable to take care of things.

The person you give power of attorney rights to should be trustworthy! They should also know something of your business and finances or be able to figure it out from your files. We’ll write about file management later – such fun.

Powers of attorney involve a number of important decisions including who to appoint, how narrow or broad the coverage will be, when and how the POA will take effect and terminate, how the document will be stored and distributed, and how the POA fits within the broader estate plan. So, although there are do-it-yourself POA forms online, this is one document you really should ask an attorney to advise you and prepare based on your specific needs.

For more riveting reading, see:

Jean O’Neil, TRIAD committee member