What Does It Mean to Give Full Authority in a Financial Power of Attorney?

A financial power of attorney document gives you peace of mind and confidence that another person you select as your Agent will be able to make financial and legal decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated and are unable to do so. By creating a financial power of attorney, you are giving another person the ability and opportunity to handle financial and legal affairs on your behalf.

It is important that you select the right person to serve in this role, especially because any mistakes made in your financial power of attorney could affect your financial wellbeing in the future. You might be tempted to give authority to your Agent over only the types of property that you currently own. This can be very problematic because you might not know what kind of assets you could own in the future. You can either give your Agent very narrow authority or broad-ranging authority in a financial power of attorney.

Many power of attorney documents list various types of property and will require you to initial or check each one to give your Agent authority. This can include taxes, insurance and annuities, claims and litigation, digital property, stocks and bonds, tangible personal property, real property, and taxes.

You might assume that because there are types of property on that list that you don’t have, you can ignore them. However, since you don’t know the future, it is a good idea to grant general authority over all types of property, even property that you don’t currently own. It is best for your Agent to have authority even if they never end up using it. Schedule a consultation with an estate planning attorney to discuss more information about financial POA documents and how best to protect yourself.

Our Michigan power of attorney lawyer is here to guide you through the process of writing a document that leaves your chosen agent with the right powers if needed.

 

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