A financial power of attorney protects your financial interests at a time when you’re not available or otherwise incapacitated. It’s an estate planning tool to establish a legal representative to make those decisions for you. If you’re wondering how to get power of attorney documents, call the Albert Maimone & Associates, P.C. law practice located in College Point, Queens. They serve all five New York City boroughs, as well as Suffolk and Nassau counties.
What Is a Power of Attorney?
A power of attorney (POA) is a legal financial planning tool that you create to give someone else power to make decisions legally for you if you ever become incapacitated. A financial POA is specific to financial matters and identifies the person you entrust with your money matters in the event you’re not available or cognizant enough to transact such issues.
In a financial POA, you’re the principal who grants power to an agent or representative, called an attorney-in-fact. Setting up a power of attorney can be done at any time to protect your investments and other assets. A power of attorney is normally part of estate planning. At New York City’s Albert Maimone & Associates law practice, you have access to experienced estate planning lawyers, who provide qualified help for wills, trusts and estate planning.
Do I Need a Financial POA?
Anyone over age 18 with any type of assets may set up a financial POA. If you decide to set one up, either separately or as part of a larger estate plan, you may wonder how to get power of attorney documents in order. Seek legal counsel if you:
- Own joint tenancy property. A financial POA gives your agent the authority to continue joint ownership on your behalf.
- Are getting older. If you’re past age 50, setting up a financial POA is advisable. Your designated representative manages the affairs on your behalf, based on your instructions, should you be unavailable.
- Have married. A financial power of attorney reduces the bureaucratic issues associated with financial transactions if you’re incapable of making those decisions. Your spouse may depend on your income or assets. If you’re a parent, your children need financial support even if you’re incapacitated.
- Travel a lot. Some financial transactions may need your physical presence when time is of essence. If you travel out of the country often, appointing a power of attorney may save you money.
- Work in extreme conditions. If you’re injured at the workplace and no one can make financial decisions on your behalf, you and your loved ones may suffer unnecessarily. A financial POA allows your representative to make those decisions if you can’t sign documents or make decisions.
- Become severely ill. After a diagnosis for severe illness, a financial POA gives you peace of mind that your finances will remain in order. Terminal illnesses include dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cancer, kidney disease, type 2 diabetes or heart disease.
- Want to plan your affairs. To plan your future finances or manage your estate, appoint someone you trust to run your financial affairs when you can’t. Grant power of attorney to a trusted friend or relative who adheres to your instructions for every aspect of your financial life.
There are many situations that necessitate naming a financial power of attorney. Your Queens estate planning lawyer guides you on every legal aspect of establishing a power of attorney. Your lawyer explains how to get power of attorney, the types of POA, the powers included in a POA, asset protection strategies and other estate planning issues.
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What Are the Types of Financial POA?
You can choose between two types of power of attorney tools, namely:
- Ordinary power of attorney. An ordinary power of attorney is a legal document that designates an agent to run your financial affairs. The document is valid as long as you’re capable of making your own decisions and not incapacitated.
- Durable power of attorney (DPOA). An enduring power of attorney is a type of POA that remains valid even if you become incapacitated. A DPOA is valid until revoked or you pass away.
The financial POA you choose falls under these two classes. Other categories of POA describe how and when the power of attorney may be used, such as a general POA, a specific POA and a springing POA.
What Powers Are Granted through a POA?
When you draft a financial power of attorney, you may grant any financial privileges to the designated attorney-in-fact. The powers you may grant include:
- Financial powers. Your chosen attorney-in-fact has the power over your financial matters, such as controlling your bank accounts, making payments, closing your accounts, cashing checks, transferring funds, handling taxes, donating to charities and making gifts to family and friends. Other financial powers include investing, handling insurance-related matters and managing assets and retirement plans.
- Real estate management. Your attorney-in-fact manages your real estate through sale, leasing and residential or commercial property management.
- Business operations. In your absence, the agent you select manages your businesses. Such roles include employing new talent, managing budgets, making investment decisions and voting as your proxy in meetings.
- Legal powers. This financial POA grants your representative the authority to handle your legal matters, such as filing lawsuits and corresponding with your lawyer in your behalf.
- Family maintenance. Your representative steps in to maintain your family by paying for your children’s life expenses, such as education, medical expenses, food and other requirements.
What’s the Process of Establishing a Financial POA?
To set up a financial power of attorney, follow your lawyer’s advice and steps that include:
- Choosing an attorney-in-fact. Choose someone who you trust who is 18 years old or older. Select a responsible person, who’s a good communicator.
- Agreeing on responsibilities. Have a discussion with your attorney-in-fact and agree on all necessary responsibilities and the commitment to take them on.
- Choosing a suitable POA type. The best financial power of attorney suits your needs from options such as ordinary POA, durable POA, springing POA and others.
- Drafting and writing the POA. The power of attorney document includes your name, date, type of POA, name of the chosen attorney-in-fact, provisions, expectations and the scope of the attorney-in-fact’s authority. Once you draft the POA, it must be signed and witnessed, per the state laws.
- Securing your POA. Store your POA document in a safe location, like a safe deposit box, and make sure your agent knows its location.
- Updating the POA. You may update the POA and change your attorney-in-fact at any time.
A financial power of attorney is a powerful estate planning tool. Your power of attorney lawyer in New York City guides you through the process so you enjoy the benefits the legal document offers. Contact the experienced estate planning lawyers at the boutique law firm of Albert Maimone & Associates for a free consultation and review of your legal matters within 48 hours.
Albert Maimone & Associates P.C.127-16 14th Avenue
College Point, Queens, NY 11356 (718) 357-1216