A: A durable power of attorney is a legal document that authorizes another person to act on your behalf immediately or when you become incapacitated. By signing a durable power of attorney, you give the nominated agent (also called the attorney-in-fact) the ability to handle financial and legal matters when you are unable to do so yourself. For example, you may give your agent the power to purchase or sell assets, manage finances, or handle issues related to government benefits. While the trustee of your trust will handle issues related to the assets held in your trust, the agent under your durable power of attorney will primarily handle issues related to assets or matters outside of your trust. For this reason, it is important to have both documents included in your estate plan.
Q: What is a durable power of attorney? Do I need one if I already have a trust?
- Q: I was adopted when I was 2 years old and I just found out my biological father died without a will. Am I entitled to any portion of his estate now?
- Q: I have been living with my girlfriend for 24 years, but we’ve never gotten officially married. Will my assets automatically pass to her upon my death?
- Q: How is having a living trust like using GPS on your phone to drive somewhere you’ve never been to?
- Q: Should I create a special needs trust for my child who is receiving government benefits?
- Q: Do I still need an Estate Planning Attorney if I only have one child and everyone knows everything gets left to them?