Exactly What You Need to Know When Naming an Enduring Power of Attorney
An enduring power of attorney is a legal document that allows you to name someone to act on your behalf in legal and financial matters. This document allows the person to sign, write checks, and make bank transactions when you can’t make them yourself.
Naming an enduring power of attorney will not mean you lose control of your finances. It just gives the other person your permission to manage your finances according to your instructions.
Difference Between Power of Attorney & Enduring Power of Attorney?
There are two types of powers of attorney, a general power of attorney and an enduring power of attorney.
The main differences between the two are:
A general power of attorney is invalid if you lose mental capacity, where as an enduring power of attorney is still valid. Both types of power of attorney become invalid when you die. At that point, the Executor named in your last living will and testament would take over and administer your estate.
Additional Requirements to Consider
There are some extra things you need to do if you decide to name an enduring power of attorney, instead of just a power of attorney.
The Importance of Naming an Enduring Power of Attorney
If you don’t name an enduring power of attorney, there is no one in place to make your financial decisions for you when you can’t do it yourself. Your family would have to apply to have someone appointed to act on your behalf.
Who Can Appoint an Enduring Power of Attorney?
Any adult who understands the actual power of an enduring attorney can name one to act on their behalf. The person must also be aware of the complicated financial decisions that will be made for them.
If a person has any mental disabilities, a doctor would need to determine if the person actually understands all of the factors that go into appointing one.
How to Choose the Right Person to Fill the Role
This can be a very difficult decision. You will need to remember that your enduring power of attorney will have tremendous power over your financial affairs. It’s important to choose someone you trust and you know understands your financial situation in and out.
If your finances are pretty complex, you should make sure to choose someone that has a lot of experience handling more difficult financial matters.
Don't worry, it's Okay to choose a family member or friend.
But it's imperative that you make sure they understand everything involved beforehand.
Although you never know what life may bring, it’s important to try to choose someone who will be around for a longer time than you.
So, it would be smart to pick someone who is healthier and possibly a bit younger than you.
For instance, my husband is 17 years my senior. So my back-up guardian is my daughter.
If your original choice is unable to fulfill their duties. You may want to appoint a substitute.
If you don’t have a back-up in place and something happens to your first choice, you will have no one to act on your behalf.
This happens quite often involving tragic accidents with multiple family members.
What to Consider If You Want to Appoint More Than One
If you don’t want to leave all of your financial decisions to one person, it is possible to name more than one enduring power of attorney. It’s best to choose people that you think can work together and cooperate to keep your best interests in mind.
Ways to appoint your attorneys to act:
Keep this in mind: If you want your attorneys to act jointly, if one dies or becomes unable to fulfill their duties, it could automatically make the enduring power of attorney invaild.
If you want your attorneys to act jointly, if one dies or becomes unable to fulfill their duties, it could automatically make the enduring power of attorney invalid.
When does it start?
You have the power to decide when your enduring power of attorney will take effect. After you get everything set up, it can start immediately. Or, you can choose a date in the future for it to start.
If you want, you can leave it up to when your doctor thinks you are no longer able to manage your own finances. Or, you can ask your enduring power of attorney to help you decide when they think you need help taking care of your affairs.
If you don’t list a time you want the enduring power of attorney to start, it will automatically start when your attorney accepts their role.
The Responsibilities of Your Enduring Power of Attorney
The person you choose MUST be someone you TRUST to make very important decisions for you and keep your best interests in mind.
Important duties for your attorney may include:
The Powers You Can Grant
You control the decisions your attorney can make about your finances and property.
These powers may include:
It is possible for you to set limits and conditions on what your enduring power of attorney has control over. For example, you could allow them to pay bills, but they can’t sell your property.
Filling Out the Forms
As you can see, appointing an enduring power of attorney has many requirements and things to keep in mind. It’s possible to complete the forms yourself, but it would be much easier to get some legal help from a lawyer.
Can I Revoke My Enduring Power of Attorney?
Furthermore, you have the power to revoke your enduring power of attorney at any time. You must however, be mentally capable and understand what you’re doing.
When you decide to do this, make sure you tell your attorney what you wish to do. It’s better and clearer for everyone if you put your wishes in writing. Make sure it’s very clear that you want to revoke the power.
Once you put it in writing, make sure to destroy the original documents. Make sure you destroy all of the copies you have.
When Does an Enduring Power of Attorney End?
An enduring power of attorney will end when:
Storing All Your Vital Documents In One Place
As much as we don’t like to think about dying, it’s important to make sure everything is in order for the family we leave behind. That’s where we step in to help. My LifeJars offers you a safe, secure online place to store everything your family needs when you’re no longer with them.
Our app is the perfect place to organize and share all of your important documents, like your last will and testament, your advance care directive, your health care proxy, your enduring power of attorney, and your enduring guardian. We make it simple for you to give access to all the people who will need this information in the future.
What Are the Benefits of My LifeJars?
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The My LifeJars app offers the following benefits:
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