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Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Choosing the Right Financial Agent for Your Durable Power of Attorney

When you create a durable power of attorney for your financial matters, one of the most important decisions you will need to make is who will serve as your agent for your power of attorney. You might be able to think of someone immediately whom you would like to select as your agent, but you should consider several factors before settling on this issue. Your close friend or relative might not be the best choice.

A Florida estate planning attorney can help you sort through the relevant considerations and discuss the powers and responsibilities of an agent for a financial power of attorney. In addition to answering your questions to help you in choosing the right financial agent for your durable power of attorney, the lawyer can draft the document for you to sign.

What Is a Financial Agent for a Durable Power of Attorney?

When you create a power of attorney document, you name someone to act on your behalf if you cannot or do not want to manage your finances for yourself. The person you select is your agent because they work on your behalf. The power of attorney document gives them the legal authority to take whatever actions the paper allows them to do.

A durable power of attorney is a document that remains in effect if you become incapacitated. Without the document being durable, it would become void if you become incapacitated due to illness or injury, and your agent would no longer be able to take care of your financial matters for you.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Your Financial Agent for Your Durable Power of Attorney

Your entire financial future rests in the hands of this person. They will have the legal authority to take whatever actions the document allows them, which typically include accessing your bank and investment accounts, managing your assets, paying your bills, and anything else involved in taking care of your financial matters.

Trust. You will need to think of someone whom you can trust implicitly. If you are lying in a coma, your financial agent could clean out your bank accounts. If you have any doubt about the person’s trustworthiness, you might want to think about another candidate.

Money management. The person you name as your financial agent might not steal from you, but will they cause you to lose money because of their failure to take necessary actions? If they are supposed to pay your bills and they fail to do so, your house could go into foreclosure. You will want to select someone who manages their own money and life responsibly.

Risk factors. If the person you are considering as your financial agent has any of these risk factors, you might want to think about a different person to select as your agent:

  • A history of bankruptcy or eviction.
  • A criminal record.
  • Any previous acts of fraud, theft, or embezzlement.
  • Mental health issues.
  • Substance abuse or addiction.
  • A gambling habit.

A person with any of those issues might be more likely to mishandle your financial matters. When you talk with a Florida estate planning attorney about the financial agent for your durable power of attorney, you will want to speak candidly about these and any other relevant issues. Get in touch with our office today for a free consultation.


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The Law Office of Jeffrey A. Herzog, P.A. assists clients in Florida, including North Pinellas County, Palm Harbor, Trinity, West Pasco County, and the surrounding areas.



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| Phone: (727) 789-4000
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| Phone: (727) 789-4000

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