If you have not yet created a financial power of attorney, you should do so as soon as possible. It is one of the most crucial of all estate planning tasks.

Imagine lying in a coma in a hospital bed after an accident. At first, your family’s only concern is your well-being. Quickly, however, other problems crop up: While you recover, nobody has the ability to arrange for your worker’s compensation benefits or unemployment. Nobody can access your bank accounts to pay your bills. Nobody even has the right to talk to your creditors on your behalf about the situation. That’s what can happen if you don’t have a financial power of attorney in place.

While a financial power of attorney cannot prevent accidents or illness from occurring, it can help your family cope.

A durable power of attorney enables continuity

Many people shy away from giving someone control over their assets for fear that person will steal from them. It is vital to choose someone you trust. In many cases, the obvious choice is your spouse. You can give them a durable power of attorney which lasts until you die or cancel it. 

You can limit someone’s power over your assets

You can specify which assets a power of attorney can control. You can also set when their powers take effect. For instance, a springing power of attorney only comes into play when triggered by a specific event. Typically this would be when you cannot communicate and make decisions for yourself due to mental or physical incapacitation.

While there is always a risk that someone you give financial power of attorney lets you down, the greater risk is not designating anyone. It could leave your family struggling to pay the bills and leave you struggling to get the healthcare you need. Talk to an attorney today about adding this document to your estate plans.