What Is A Financial Power Of Attorney?
The Financial Power Of Attorney permits an individual to designate an agent (usually a spouse or close family member) to make financial decisions and pay bills on his or her behalf in the event s/he becomes temporarily or permanently incapacitated. In the absence of a Financial Power Of Attorney, an individual‘s family may be forced to initiate a legal proceeding known as a guardianship proceeding, in the event the individual becomes incapacitated. In addition to being far more expensive than a simple Financial Power Of Attorney, a legal guardianship proceeding can be inconvenient, time–consuming and stressful for an individual‘s family during an already–stressful health crisis.
Although the execution of a Financial Power Of Attorney is both prudent and considerate, we counsel our clients to exercise caution in both the selection of their agent and the handling of the document itself, due to its potential for misuse and embezzlement. Accordingly, we frequently counsel clients to require a certification of incapacity from their family physician before the Financial Power Of Attorney becomes effective.