Prepare a Durable Power of Attorney

A Durable Power of Attorney is a document you need as part of your complete estate plan.

In the power of attorney, you name a trusted person to act as your agent for financial matters while you are living. The person you name is authorized to sign for you whether you are incapacitated or not.

You will want to prepare this document so you can use it for convenience or in the case of your incapacity. For instance, you may want your spouse or partner to be able to sign for you on a financial transaction while you are out of town. You also want to have your agent take over for you if you are temporarily or permanently unable to manage your own financial affairs.

Many people are not aware that their spouse or partner may not legally sign for them without a power of attorney document in place. If you do not have a properly executed power of attorney document and you become incapacitated, a court proceeding is necessary to appoint a guardian to act on your behalf.

The same concept is true for parents and their adult children. When your child is eighteen years old, arrange for him or her to sign a power of attorney for financial matters and a Health Care Power of Attorney to name you as agent. You will be prepared in the case of an emergency or in the case where it is convenient to be able to sign for your child.

Most states have a form you can use to name a financial agent, but your estate planning attorney may recommend a more comprehensive version to give much more detail.

Make an appointment with Patricia McKinney-Lins at Neider & Boucher, (608) 661-4500 to complete a Durable Power of Attorney and all the other important estate planning documents you need to be sure your affairs are in order.

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