Financial Power of Attorney: Why You Need it and How to Make the Best Choice

Financial Power of Attorney: Why You Need it and How to Make the Best Choice

April 4, 2019

A financial power of attorney is a powerful document that is an essential part of any estate plan in Maryland. Before making a decision about whom should serve as your power of attorney, it is important to understand what a financial power of attorney entails, why you need one, and how to make the best choice in determining whom it should be. Talk to a Maryland estate planning attorney to learn more about financial power of attorney and other important estate planning forms today.

What is a Financial Power of Attorney?

Also known as a durable power of attorney form, a financial power of attorney is a legal document that allows a person to carry out your instructions and make decisions regarding your financial and legal affairs. These actions are performed in situations in which you are unable or unavailable to make these decisions on your own. Because the person named in a financial power of attorney has control over your finances and accounts, it is critically important that you select someone you trust for this position. A financial power of attorney in Maryland is considered durable because it goes into effect upon your incapacity or unavailability.

Why You Need a Financial Power of Attorney

It is important to have a financial power of attorney in place long before you ever think that you will need it. This is because the durable power of attorney springs into effect once you are unable or incapable of making these very important decisions for yourself, and more often than people realize, these situations come unexpectedly. In some cases, a person is involved in an accident or a sickness hits that renders him or her incapacitated and unable to communicate their wishes. In other cases, a person is stuck out of the country or unable to communicate about important or impending legal and financial matters, and a power of attorney is necessary to facilitate these decisions.

How to Make the Best Choice

When choosing a financial power of attorney, it is important to find a person you can trust with your financial and legal matters. For many people, this is a parent or a child. For others, an attorney or banking official is named. While the person named in the power of attorney has a fiduciary duty to act in your best interests, some people attempt to take advantage of the situation for their own personal gain. For this reason, you must think very carefully before deciding whom to name in your financial power of attorney documents.

Talk to an Estate Planning Attorney

To learn more about financial power of attorney forms and your legal options for naming a durable power of attorney in your estate plan, contact Nusinov Smith Law Firm today.