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  • Writer's pictureKathy L. McNair, Esq.

Choosing Your Fiduciary Part 3: Why Your Power of Attorney is Important



Choosing a fiduciary to act as your Power of Attorney is a critical decision.  A Power of Attorney document allows you to designate someone to act as your fiduciary to handle your financial affairs, during your life. This will be critical if you are ever in a situation where you can no longer manage your own finances. For example, if you are ever sick or injured and you are unable to pay your bills or make financial decisions for yourself, the Power of Attorney will be needed. Without this document, financial institutions, banks, and the IRS will not release information or authorize anyone to access your account to assist you.


In this situation, your family, friends, or a hospital will need to ask a court to appoint a Conservator for you. The Conservator may not be the person that you would have chosen. It may even be a stranger. The court will require the Conservator to provide annual accountings and reports. This expense can be avoided with a Power of Attorney document. 


You must be very careful when appointing someone as your agent under a Power of Attorney, as the authority to act often goes into effect immediately, not just if you are incapacitated. When considering who to appoint as your agent, you must choose someone you trust. You will be giving this person the power to handle your money. In the wrong hands, the power of attorney can be used as a "license to steal". 


If you do not have anyone whom you can trust in this role, you can hire a professional fiduciary.  Attorneys and other professionals will often serve in this role. If you are looking to hire a professional to serve as your agent under the power of attorney, please visit www.SoloAllies.com.


The role of a Power of Attorney can demand a considerable time commitment. Providing your fiduciary with comprehensive financial information enables them to assist you effectively, avoiding unnecessary searches for assets.  Your fiduciary will need to go to each bank or financial institution to gain access to each of your accounts.  The time commitment can be significant.  It is helpful to give your fiduciary information about your finances so that they can help you and won’t need to go on a wild goose chase looking for your assets.   


 It is important to have an estate planning attorney or elder law attorney draft the Power of Attorney document. Although you may find samples of this document online or at a store, there are numerous issues and consequences that should be reviewed before you sign this document. Without a comprehensive Power of Attorney document, you may not be protected if and when it is needed. it is important to note that Power of Attorney is only useful during your life. All power to act under the Power of Attorney ends upon death. 


Life is uncertain, and you never know when you may need this critical document. If you live in the Boston, Massachusetts, area and are interested in making sure your estate plan is up to date, or you would like to find a professional fiduciary at Senior Solutions Attorneys at Law, we are ready to help. To find out more, please call us at 617-489-5900 or use this link to schedule a free consultation: https://seniorsolutions.as.me/initialconsult. If you live elsewhere in the United States, please visit www.SoloAllies.com for a directory of professionals who help seniors planning on aging alone thrive.


We are caring Boston Elder Law attorneys, serving all of Massachusetts, and ready to help you with Medicaid and MassHealth Planning, Estate Planning, Guardianship, Conservatorship, Probate, and Special Needs Planning.



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