A power of attorney document is a powerful legal document that allows you to designate another person to make financial decisions on your behalf. This is an important part of your estate planning package because it ensures that your financial affairs will be covered in the event of an emergency. It also allows you to have someone pay your bills if you are delayed out of town or are on an extended vacation.
With a power of attorney, you are able to nominate a spouse, partner, or trusted friend or family member to be your “Attorney-In-Fact.” This person will be given the power to act as your representative on financial matters. You are free to tailor the financial powers granted to your Attorney-In-Fact as broadly or as narrowly as necessary.
In Minnesota, state statute 523.23 governs general powers of attorney. Under this statute, we draft what is termed a “durable power of attorney”—meaning that the power of attorney is valid as soon as the document is notarized and signed and continues to be valid if you are incapacitated or incompetent (unable to make your own decisions).
It is important to regularly update your power of attorney to ensure that it reflects your current life situation and relationships. If you and your spouse divorced and your spouse was formerly your Attorney-In-Fact, your spouse’s powers are automatically terminated upon the entry of the divorce. We can assist you in updating your power of attorney to ensure that your acting and successor Attorney-In-Fact is someone who is best suited to make decisions for you at this point in your life.
At Fiddler Osband, we believe that you help your family and yourself when you prepare for the unexpected.
Having your power of attorney in place ensures that should you suddenly be unable to make your own financial decisions or pay your own bills, even temporarily, your designated Attorney-In-Fact will be able to immediately act on your behalf.