All Adults Need A Durable Power of Attorney in Pennsylvania
You may be asking why you need a durable power of attorney. It’s a legal document that allows you to pre-select who you want to take care of your finances and assets if you become mentally or physically disabled. As you’ll learn, it’s very, very important.
Frequently Asked Questions About Durable Powers of Attorney
Question: Why should I give someone the power to manage my assets for me?
If you become mentally or physically disabled, wouldn’t you want someone you trust to be able to conduct your business and manage your money for you? Without a durable power of attorney, someone you dislike in your family could potentially request the court to appoint him or her as your power of attorney.
Question: Do I need to give one person the power to handle my financial affairs?
No. You can limit your agent’s power to particular acts. For example, you can permit your agent to pay your bills, but not sell your home.
Question: How can I inform my bank about my power of attorney?
Once you set up your durable power of attorney, you should contact your primary care doctor, banks, and other financial institutions. Some banks require that you sign a separate form to designate someone to be your power of attorney. You should also contact the person you appointed (if you haven’t already done so) and let them know.
Question: Who should I choose as my power of attorney?
Choose your spouse, a child, a family member, or a friend who you trust and who is responsible with finances.
Question: Can I wait until I become mentally or physically disabled to create a power of attorney?
Absolutely not. Once you become physically or mentally disabled, you won’t be able to appoint the person you want to manage your assets.
Question: Can I name someone now to be my power of attorney, but withhold their right to act on my behalf until later?
Yes, that’s what’s called a “springing” power of attorney. The power to act on your behalf will “spring” into action at a particular time or when something happens (such as when you if physically disabled).
Question: Can I change my mind and appoint someone else in the future?
Yes, as long as you’re are mentally and physically capable of doing so, you can appoint someone else at any time.
Question: Can I use a durable power of attorney to appoint someone to make my medical decisions?
No, there’s a separate document for that. It’s called an advance healthcare directive (or “living will). You can read about it here: What Is An Advance Healthcare Directive?
Question: Who can help me create a power of attorney?
Schedule your initial consultation today!
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