Today I host a guest post from Celina Jones – an guest writer who deals with the subject of ‘Power of Attorney’. I hope you can learn something from this post, or help to educate somebody else! It makes me think about my Grandad and how stubborn he is. With diminishing health, he needs to think about giving somebody power of attorney over his estate, but quite honestly is far to controlling! For those of you with parents/grandparents/older friends who may be more receptive to the idea, it is certainly something to think about.
When it comes to knowing details about the power of attorney, you should try to obtain as much information as possible about it (including local laws), especially if you have a family that also cares for older adults. Obviously, it becomes difficult for older people to manage all their finances on their own. Therefore, you can solve their problem by helping them out to manage transactions and manage their financial affairs on a regular basis.
Here are the top 10 things you should know about power of attorney for family finances:
1. Do Your Older Family Members Feel Comfortable When Managing Their Personal Finances On A Daily Basis?
It is possible that your parents/elderly friends may have weak eyesight. Therefore, they may not want to manage all the financial transactions on their own. Maybe they find it difficult to manage all the necessary documents / view the online statements. This could be an example of a situation where you could delegate power of attorney.
2. Do They Want Limited Power Of Attorney To Manage Specific Transactions?
It may be possible that they are fit and healthy enough to manage all the transactions themselves. However, they may come across certain transactions (perhaps key decisions) which can be more complicated for them to understand. In this situation, people can choose to delegate limited power of attorney to help them make certain decisions wisely.
3. Will A Power Of Attorney Help Your Elder Family Members If They Want To Travel?
Traveling is something separate to consider. During a period of travel, it is possible that a financial transaction has to be made on an urgent basis. Obviously, if someone from the family has been nominated to take care of financial transactions, this would require some forward planning!
4. Should The Elder Family Members Have Power Of Attorney Which Remains Durable Throughout Their Lives?
Although not something that is cheery to think about, becoming incapacitated is another reason why you should be aware about power of attorney for family finances. This is obviously a major problem and it can become seriously worse if you have not prepared any official documentation. A legal document would enable a person to become an authorized person to use the power of attorney on the behalf of a family member in this situation.
5. Who Should Be The Agent When It Comes To Managing Their Power Of Attorney?
This is extremely important choice and the decision can affect the entire family. You should consider somebody who is trustworthy and does not have hidden agendas to make financial decisions and act as an agent for the family. The nominated person will have to learn everything there is to know about finances and the estate, which includes any debt. This could potentially be quite a complex affair – You can have a read on www.consolidatedcredit.org to find out more and also use their available debt calculator.
6. Do You Need A Power Of Attorney Even If Your Assets Are With Your Spouse On A Joint Basis?
If you have a joint account, then this requires further considerations. The rules here vary by country, so it would be a good idea to first research whether your spouse can manage all finances on your behalf or not.
7. Should You Get Copies Of Power Of Attorneys For Family Finances?
The documents stating power of attorney are valuable to all family members. You never know when you might need to use them or if they have been misplaced. Multiple copies is a great idea, as is a substitute agent – they can go missing too!
8. Does Your Family Have A Separate Financial Planner?
Inquire if your family has a financial planner. In fact, you should know the financial situation inside-out; who debtors are, accountants, financial advisers, bank accounts etc. A financial planner could help to arrange all the details from a monetary standpoint and aid the delegated agent in their duties.