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Is your power of attorney agent up for the financial tasks ahead?

Though you may have hope that you will have the ability to finish out your golden years doing exactly what you want, you may also understand that the future does not always turn out the way you envision it. You could potentially find yourself in a situation where you no longer have the ability to care for yourself or handle your daily affairs. Though this idea may seem disheartening, incapacitation affects numerous individuals.

Luckily, even in such a situation, you can still have some control if you plan ahead. Because someone else will need to handle your financial affairs in the event of your incapacitation, you may want to create a financial power of attorney document in order to appoint your desired agent.

Duties

The individual in charge of your finances will have access to personal areas of your life and will need to use your funds in an appropriate manner. Because of the significant responsibilities, you undoubtedly want to ensure that the person handling those duties has your complete trust. Additionally, you want to make sure that he or she feels comfortable dealing with tasks such as:

  • Paying bills
  • Filing and paying taxes
  • Attending to medical expenses
  • Handling financial accounts
  • Collecting benefits
  • Managing your assets

The appointed agent would do well to always keep your best interests in mind, and should have the ability to assess situations that determine which financial actions may work in your favor.

Termination of duties

Though your agent will handle your finances during your incapacitation, that individual no longer has that responsibility after your death. Therefore, he or she cannot handle your estate-related affairs unless your power of attorney agent also holds the position of executor of your estate. Because your agent's power ends upon your death, you can name a different individual to handle your estate matters after your passing.

Making your appointment

The responsibility placed on a power of attorney agent can seem like a lot to handle. Therefore, before making your appointment, you may wish to speak with your desired agent to make sure he or she feels up to taking on the role. Once you have his or her acceptance, you can move on to filing the appropriate documents.

Though you can file power of attorney documents on your own, the possibility exists for potential mistakes to occur. Because you certainly do not want any loopholes resulting in an invalid appointment, you may wish to go over your document with an experienced New York attorney.

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