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What Is a Financial POA?

What Is a Financial POA?

Business people shaking hands, signing documents with keys

Financial powers of attorney allow people to name others to handle finance-related matters on their behalf. Whether out of town, incapacitated due to injury or illness, or because of another circumstance, situations may arise in which people cannot conduct their financial affairs themselves. As a result, they or their families may face hardships waiting for requests for financial authority to go through the court system.

Assigning a Personal Financial Agent

A type of legal document, financial powers of attorney let people designate others to act in their interests in financial matters. Residents of Illinois may grant this responsibility by completing the Illinois statutory short form power of attorney for property in the presence of at least one witness and having them notarized. Depending on their wording, financial powers of attorney may take effect immediately or they may only go into effect should the principals become incapacitated.

Choosing an Agent

People should take care when selecting someone to serve as their financial agent. Executing financial powers of attorney bestows substantial responsibility on the chosen agents and may allow them control over the principals’ property and financial assets. Therefore, principals, or those giving authorization for someone else to serve as their financial agent, should name representatives whom they trust and can depend on to act responsibly and in their interests.

Granting Legal Financial Authority

When creating financial powers of attorney, people may give their agents as much or as little power as they see fit. Some of the financial authorities that people may grant to their chosen agents through this type of legal document include the following:

  • The ability to maintain, mortgage, buy, and sell real estate property
  • The ability to handle banking and other financial institution transactions
  • The ability to invest the principal’s money in mutual funds, bonds, and stocks
  • The ability to collect the principals’ Medicare, Social Security, or other government benefits

Principals may word their financial powers of attorney to give full financial authority, including these and other powers, to their agents or to allow certain authorities and restrict others.

Ending a Financial Power of Attorney

The authority granted by a financial power of attorney ends with the principal’s death. Financial powers of attorney may also end if revoked by the principals, invalidated by the court, or if the agents can no longer serve and the principals have not named a successor or alternative.

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