If you want to grant permission to a trusted family member or friend to act legally on your behalf for financial or personal reasons, you will need to create a Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA) planning document. In a DPOA, your power of attorney agent will have legal authority over your affairs based upon the specific actions you designate in the document.
A DPOA is a document in which one party (the “principal”) grants authority to another party (the “power of attorney agent”) to act in the place of the principal with regard to economic and financial matters. If you can no longer handle your affairs and you do not have a valid POA, it may be difficult or impossible for anyone else to ensure that your bills get paid and your financial affairs are properly handled. If your incapacity persists for very long, your local probate court will likely need to appoint a conservator. The conservator will be able to handle your financial affairs, but will be subject to ongoing court supervision and inflexible rules. Probate court conservatorship proceedings can take a long time, and they are often expensive.
If you have a DPOA in place, you may be able to avoid the need for a conservatorship proceeding altogether, your agent will not be subject to ongoing court supervision and the inflexible rules that apply to a conservator. Our firm can assist you in drafting this document to help you avoid expensive and time-consuming guardianship/conservatorship proceedings.