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What is a durable financial power of attorney?

If you are a California resident who is concerned about how your financial decisions will be made and who will make them in the event you are unable to make them yourself, you may wish to consider creating a durable financial power of attorney. As FindLaw explains, a financial power of attorney is a document you sign that grants someone else the authority to take care of your financial matters if and when you are in a position where you cannot do it yourself. This person usually is called your financial agent or your attorney-in-fact.

Examples of when a financial power of attorney could be a good answer to pressing financial questions include the following:

  • You are the victim of an accident that leaves you in a coma or otherwise unable to express your financial wishes.
  • You have a stoke that deprives you of your speech.
  • You fall and receive a brain injury that leaves you confused and unable to think clearly.
  • You simply do not want to be responsible for dealing with your own finances.

What your financial agent can do

In addition to paying your bills, you can specify numerous other things you want your financial agent to do on your behalf, including any or all of the following:

  • Manage your real estate and other assets
  • Buy and sell your assets
  • Make investments
  • Collect your Social Security and/or retirement benefits
  • Operate your business
  • Buy insurance

Durability

Durability refers to the period of time during which your financial power of attorney is valid. If you designate it as a durable financial power of attorney, this means that the powers you are granting to your financial agent remain valid unless and until you revoke them at some point in the future or you die, whichever occurs first. This information is provided for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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