Financial Powers of Attorney

With a financial power of attorney, you may appoint someone (known as your agent) to stand in your shoes and act for you in financial and business matters. Your agent can do whatever you specify in the document. Broad powers of attorney that allow the agent to do whatever you may do (such as withdrawing funds from bank accounts, trading stock and paying bills) are the most common.

The power of attorney, also, may have specific provisions that allow for transfers in the event that you want to preserve assets from long term care costs. Such powers may be important for Medicaid planning for nursing home care if you become incapacitated, but pose a significant risk of exploitation.

Powers of attorney may be drafted to grant the agent a great deal of authority or may provide the agent with only limited authority. You may designate successor agents as well in the document, in the even that your designated agent is unable to continue serving.

The power of attorney may be drafted so that it takes effect immediately, or when a specified event happens. For example, the document may specify that your agent may only act when either a physician certifies that you are incapacitated; or(2) a court finds that you are incapacitated and a conservator has been appointed; or (3) you have executed a certificate that provides that from that date forward, the attorney in fact is fully authorized to act. Thus, your named agent could not use the document until one of those three events has occurred.

Carlin & Shapiro can assist you with the preparation and execution of a financial power of attorney.