Financial Power Of Attorney

Financial Power Of Attorney Lawyer in St. Paul

Having a financial power of attorney as part of your estate plan ensures that your financial matters are handled even if you become incapacitated due to health or cognitive limitations. Many estate plans contain a financial power of attorney, a legal document allowing individuals to appoint a trusted person to handle critical aspects of their finances, such as paying bills, filing taxes, operating a small business, or investing.

What is a Financial Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney is a legal document where an individual called a "Principal" gives written authority to another person called an "attorney-in-fact" or "agent" to manage their financial matters on their behalf. The agent does not have to be an attorney, but they must be a competent adult at least 18 years old. The principal should ensure that the agent they choose is someone they can highly trust and never someone they may suspect of causing financial fraud. The rights provided by a power of attorney must be specified in writing, signed in front of a notary public, and dated.

When a person becomes incapacitated and unable to make their own decisions, they can make their power of attorney "durable." A durable power of attorney can benefit your family members by preventing court proceedings where if they were without a durable power of attorney, they might have to request permission from a court for your financial affairs.

Do You Need a Financial Power of Attorney?

Having a power of attorney does not prevent you from carrying out your financial responsibilities but instead shares these tasks with someone else. Everyone with property or a source of income can benefit from having financial power of attorney, especially if you anticipate future health complications hurting your ability to handle your financial matters. There may be other situations where you are unable or unwilling to manage your financial affairs, in which case you may wish to utilize a power of attorney. 

A power of attorney cannot be used to give someone the authority to file a lawsuit on your behalf since it is a "Legal" document rather than a judicial document. Only licensed attorneys may file lawsuits on behalf of their clients. In general, the courts stay out of "Powers of Attorney" matters unless an agent becomes incapable of making sound choices and needs another adult. In such cases, the courts may intervene and appoint guardianship or conservatorship on behalf of the unable person.

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The Responsibilities of a Power of Attorney

People frequently provide their agents with a broad spectrum of power to handle all of their financial matters. When you sign a durable power of attorney, you may give your agent as much or as little responsibility as you wish. Here are some examples of the duties you may want to give your agent:

  • Utilize your assets to cover your daily expenses and those of your family.
  • Engage in buying, selling, maintaining, paying taxes, and obtaining mortgages for real estate and other forms of property.
  • Obtain Social Security, Medicare, or other government benefits.
  • Investing in stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.
  • Conduct transactions with banks and other financial institutions.
  • Purchase and sell insurance policies and annuities for yourself.
  • File and pay taxes.
  • Run your small business.
  • Acquire property you inherit or are legally entitled to.
  • Transfer property to a trust that you have previously established.
  • Retain someone to represent you in court, and
  • Manage your retirement accounts.

The agent must keep accurate records, keep your property separate from their own, operate in your best interests, and prevent conflicts of interest. When you pass away, your power of attorney ends, and as long as you are mentally competent, you may revoke a durable power of attorney at any time.

Why Clients Choose Clarence

Contact A Financial Power of Attorney Lawyer in St. Paul

By contacting an attorney, you can ensure that your financial power of attorney document accurately reflects your needs. At The Law Office of Clarence Patterson III, we understand the importance of securing your future for you and your loved ones. When you hire our firm, you will be provided with an attorney who is communicative, knowledgeable, and accommodating.

Our firm primarily serves the areas of Ramsey County, Washington County, Hennepin County, Dakota County, and other regions around Minnesota. Please call us for a free consultation to discuss your financial power of attorney needs.

Founder | Lawyer

Clarence Patterson III is the founding attorney of the Law Offices of Clarence Patterson III. The firm is rooted in the principle of “Protecting Rights & Improving Lives.”

The underlying premise of Mr. Patterson’s success is that he is not just “practicing” law, he is dedicated to obtaining results that clients need and expect.

Mr. Patterson recognizes that there is no such thing as a “small case.” Which is why he is dedicated to being by the side of his clients throughout the duration of their legal matter.

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Legal Disclaimer

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. The Law Offices of Clarence Patterson III's legal team is licensed to practice law in Minnesota. We invite you to contact us, but please be aware that contacting us does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until an attorney-client relationship has been established.

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