Question 1: Do I have someone who I can rely upon to manage my finances? If you do, you can ensure that person takes control of your financial affairs if you become incapacitated by naming that person as your agent in your Power of Attorney document. If you don’t create a Power of Attorney, it will be up to the court to determine who takes over, and it may not be someone you would want.
Question 2: Do I want my family to have to spend a lot of time and money in court? If you don’t create a financial Power of Attorney, your family may have to go to court to determine who manages your finances. This can cost money and time, and can be easily avoided.
Question 3: Do I want my spouse to take over? If you’re married, your spouse may not be automatically entitled to manage your finances without a Power of Attorney. Your spouse generally has no right to manage property you own on your own. You can let your spouse manage your property if you name him or her as your agent in your Power of Attorney.
Question 4: Do I want to make my own choices? A Durable Power of Attorney for finances is a way to set out your decisions before you lose your ability to make such decisions. You don’t need court approval, you don’t need to file your document with the state and you don’t need anyone’s permission to make one. If you want to control who manages your financial affairs, you need to have a financial Power of Attorney ready.
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