Have you ever considered how your financial concerns would be handled if you were incapacitated or were unable to leave your home? During normal times, this question would typically only cross your mind if you were a senior citizen or had severe health concerns. However, due to the novel Coronavirus, this question is becoming more relevant to people across society. Where should you start if you have questions on maintaining your financial affairs in the face of uncertainty?
Start here – figuring out the right question to ask is always a good place to begin, and this article is designed to help explain some of your power of attorney options. A financial power of attorney allows you (“the principal”) to designate one or more people (“the agents”) to handle your financial affairs. The agents’ power can be broad. Their power can range from full control of the principal’s property and finances to limited control of only a few assets. This includes power of attorney on bank accounts, power of attorney on property, and even power of attorney on your Robinhood account. It is up to the principal to determine and specify the power he or she is granting to their agent. However, the agent may not benefit from their position at the principal’s expense, and the principal may choose to continue to handle their personal financial affairs.
The principal has a plethora of options to craft the exact type of agreement they need to maintain their financial future. In fact, a principal can even control when the financial power of attorney begins and ends. They can specify a future date or occurrence to activate the agent’s powers, called a springing power of attorney, because it “springs” into action if you become incapacitated. A principal may also revoke the power of attorney agreement at any time or make the power of attorney durable – so that it remains in effect after the principal becomes incapacitated (called a “durable power of attorney”). A financial power of attorney agreement is flexible enough to meet your concerns.
Anyone interested in learning more about this concept should also be aware that the agent’s financial power is different from an executor. The agent’s power comes from your agreement with that individual and covers financial decisions that occur in your lifetime. An executor’s power comes from your Will, meaning that your agent’s powers end upon your death. Although this concept sounds straightforward, power of attorney agreements can get complicated quickly, and individuals should consider hiring an experienced Georgia estate planning attorney to help craft the perfect plan for them. These are uncertain times, and it is never too early to consider your and your family’s financial future.
Do you have Financial Power of Attorney Legal Questions?
If you have questions about your specific situation, please do not hesitate to contact Thrift McLemore at 678-784-4150.