Creating a financial power of attorney is one of the most important things you can do when you make a plan for the future. Creating a power of attorney allows you to protect assets and to protect your autonomy. The future is uncertain and, unfortunately, something unexpected could happen at any time which could result in you becoming incapacitated and not able to effectively manage your own affairs. This could leave you and your family in a very bad situation if you have not taken steps in advance to create a financial power of attorney.
When you create a power of attorney, you need to make sure you do it right. You cannot afford to make a mistake, because the mistake likely would not be discovered until it is too late and because a mistake means you will not get the protections you expect.
Zimmer Law Firm can help you with the creation of a power of attorney, as well as with the other steps you need to take to protect yourself, your assets, and your loved ones even if something happens to you. Contact our Cincinnati estate planning lawyers to get started today.
Reasons to Create a Financial Power of Attorney
A financial power of attorney allows you to designate an agent, also called an attorney in fact, who will have the legal authority to act on your behalf. You can create a limited power of attorney so your agent can do only specific tasks or enter into only specific transactions. You could also create a general power of attorney so your agent can do a wide variety of different things for you as needed.
The attorney in fact has the legal authority to exercise his or her grant of authority, but also has the obligation to act in your best interests whenever they act. The highest duty one person can owe to another is called a fiduciary duty, and an agent has a fiduciary duty when he acts under a power of attorney.
There are many reasons why you may wish to create a financial power of attorney and give your agent authority to act on your behalf. Some of those reasons include:
- Protection of assets in case of incapacity. For most people, money, property, and other investments have to be managed carefully. If something happens to you, your property could be at risk since there is no one to manage it. With a power of attorney, as long as you make it a durable power of attorney, your agent is going to have the authority to act. Making the power of attorney means it remains in effect if you become incapacitated. Your agent can thus take care of your assets if this happens to you.
- Allowing your family to avoid guardianship proceedings. If you do not have a financial power of attorney and something happens, your family will have to take control over managing assets. They will need to go to court and petition for guardianship. Doing this can be a time consuming and confusing process.
- Maintaining control and autonomy. If you are incapacitated and you have not made an advance plan, you have no control over who is selected to manage assets or to make decisions on your financial affairs. When you create a power of attorney in advance, you are the one who gets to decide who acts for you.
These are just a few of many key benefits to creating a power of attorney. It is a good idea to talk with a Cincinnati estate planning lawyer to find out if you need a power of attorney and to get help with creating one.
Getting Help from a Cincinnati Estate Planning Lawyer
You do not want to leave your family forced to go through guardianship proceedings as your assets remain unmanaged and the value of your property and investments declines. You also do not want to put yourself at risk of having someone who you do not trust manage the property you have worked for your whole life to acquire.
To make sure you are able to control what happens, who is in charge, and how your property is protected, you should create a financial power of attorney now before something unexpected happens to you. Contact our Cincinnati estate planning lawyers today at 513.721.1513 so Zimmer Law Firm can assist you with the process. You can also join us for a free seminar to learn more about the ways in which a power of attorney can help you to maintain a more secure future.