If you have just named someone as a financial power of attorney for your estate, or if you have just taken on the role for a loved one, you should understand the scope of this important designation. Not all POAs include the same tasks or responsibilities, but most have general similarities.
The financial POA document allows a person to act on behalf of another person regarding a wide range of financial matters.
Specific legal duties
According to Kiplinger, Individuals who agree to take on this role have certain legal responsibilities to the principal’s estate. The document typically spells out these responsibilities, often at the end of the POA paperwork. These charges often include keeping up on the following matters:
- Paying all bills on time
- Making timely tax payments
- Keeping transparent records
- Acting in the best interests of the client
The POA agent could pay the bills with a checking account or by way of online methods. The agent might have to keep proof of the POA agreement on file with each relevant financial institution.
The scope of a POA varies from situation to situation. In some cases, this could involve more detailed aspects of estate planning such as setting up a trust. If the principal has pressing medical concerns and does not have a will in place, the agent could recommend this process to save money later on.
Other considerations could also arise. These include coming up with strategies to pay for long-term care that involve the selling of a primary residence. Whatever your role, the POA document should spell out the expectations for both the principal and the agent acting on his or her behalf.