As we have seen, a power of attorney can be an invaluable tool in planning for the future and ensuring that your family will be as prepared as possible if one day you are unable to make decisions for yourself. So far we have discussed health care powers of attorney, which grant health care related decision-making authority. There is another type of power of attorney that can be done in addition called a durable financial power of attorney.
Just like a health care power of attorney, a financial power of attorney enables you to arrange for someone to make decisions for you in the event that you become incapacitated. However, financial powers of attorney, just like they sound, deal with the managing of your finances.
Usually, people give their attorney-in-fact broad power to handle all of their finances, but you can give your agent as much or as little power as you wish. The following is a brief list of things you may want your attorney-in-fact to be able to do.
• use your assets to pay your everyday expenses and family expenses
• buy, sell, maintain, pay taxes on, and mortgage real estate and other property
• collect Social Security, Medicare, or other government benefits
• invest your money in stocks, bonds, and mutual funds
• handle transactions with banks and other financial institutions
• buy and sell insurance policies and annuities for you
• file and pay your taxes
• operate your small business
• claim property you inherit or are otherwise entitled to
• transfer property to a trust you’ve already created
• hire someone to represent you in court, and manage your retirement accounts