Agent Under Durable Power of Attorney
The power of attorney (POA) designation is a critical component of any estate plan. By designating an agent under a POA, you are granting someone else the authority to act as your agent to carry out specific activities that you designate in the document. D&A Fiduciary Management can serve as your designated agent under a Power of Attorney or a Durable Power of Attorney. A general POA differs from a Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA) in that the powers granted to the designated agent are only in effect so long as the individual signing the POA maintains the capacity and mental competence to continue to grant that authority. A DPOA authorizes the designated agent to continue to act, or assume the powers granted by the DPOA after the person signing the DPOA is deemed to be incompetent or incapacitated. By designating an agent under a DPOA, you can ensure that day-to-day finances are maintained and that medical care and housing and personal needs continue to be provided to you and your spouse without delay or interruption during any period of incapacity. You also avoid putting your loved ones through the costly and unsettling ordeal of having to file for conservatorship or guardianship as it is called in some jurisdictions when you become incapacitated due to injury, illness or are deemed incompetent due to the onset of dementia.
Examples of tasks that we might provide as your agent under a POA or DPOA are as follows:
- Handle all banking transactions including making deposits, withdrawals or transfers
- Paying your bills timely
- Dealing with creditors and initiating collection actions on your behalf
- Managing your investments including property management of income property
- Overseeing the management of a family owned business
- Arranging for caregiving personnel to take care of you
- Keeping accurate accounting records and ensuring that your tax returns are timely filed
- Applying for any insurance or government benefits that you might be entitled to
- Negotiating and entering into contracts on your behalf
It is important to note that you can only legally execute a POA or DPOA while you are considered to be legally competent or have the capacity to exercise sound judgment. Don’t put it off and risk placing your family in the difficult position of having to defend the legitimacy of your DPOA or filing for conservatorship in order to maintain your personal care and financial affairs. Let a professional at D&A Fiduciary Management serve as your agent and enjoy the peace of mind that you experience knowing that you and your family will be taken care of when you are no longer able to manage your estate on your own.