Having a financial power of attorney is a very important tool for adult children who are caring for aging parents. It helps to create peace-of-mind if assistance is need in managing financial affairs during an illness, for overseeing specific transactions, or for long-term assistance.
Here are six things you should know about this legal designation.
1. Daily financial tasks – Even if your parents are still able to make major financial decisions, they might find it taxing to keep up with normal money matters. This could include general banking, telephone transactions or even reading or understanding the fine-print in financial documents.
2. Complicated transactions – Perhaps your parents are able to handle the day-to-day money matters, but are not comfortable handling complicated transactions. A financial power of attorney allows you to speak on their behalf in situations like purchasing a car, filing an insurance claim or real estate transactions.
3. Speak on their behalf – If your parents travel regularly they might need someone who can stand in for them or handle their financial matters when they are out of town.
4. Long-term health issues – If a parent has an unforeseen health issue or is facing a condition that is likely to cause deteriorating health, a financial power of attorney will oversee their money matters if they are unable to speak for themselves. If this type of document is not in place, your parent’s money matters will be handled by a court-appointed guardian, who may not serve their best interests.
5. Pick the right person – When choosing a financial power of attorney, it is important to take great care. Not only should this person be trustworthy, they should also have the time to take on the task as well as geographic proximity to handle all necessary affairs.
6. In case of emergencies – Even if both of your parents are living and at least one of them is able to make sound financial decisions, having a financial power of attorney is still a good idea. This simple step will protect their best interests should the other parent fall sick or suddenly become unable to make decisions.
If you or a loved one is considering a financial power of attorney contact Attorney Bryan B. Johnson. He has been providing compassionate and trusted legal representation since 1983.