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What Is a Financial Power of Attorney?
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The financial power of attorney (FPOA) is a document that gives someone else authority over your finances. The financial power of attorney gives your agent the authority to purchase and sell real estate on your behalf, pay bills, and manage your assets.
The principal is the person who executes the power of attorney. The agent or attorney-in-fact is the person who represents the principal.
However, neither the principal nor the agent must be an attorney, despite the words “power of attorney” and “attorney-in-fact.”
Several circumstances could necessitate the use of a financial power of attorney, including:
If a catastrophe occurs and you find yourself unable to manage your funds
If you are having surgery and anticipate being unable to act or make financial decisions for a while
If you are concerned that you won’t be able to manage your funds on your own because of your deteriorating health
Considering a power of attorney in Georgia? If so, consult with a top estate planning attorney at the Law Offices of Paul Black. We provide a full range of estate planning services and can advise you on the most suitable power of attorney.
What Is the Difference Between a Financial Power of Attorney and a General Power of Attorney?
General Power Of Attorney
A general power of attorney (GPOA) allows your agent to represent you in any situation permitted by local law. This covers corporate, legal, financial, and health-related issues and can confer broad powers. Depending on your selections, GPOAs may be durable or not.
Although a GPOA gives your agent significant control over your affairs, there are still several things they cannot perform. For instance, they are not permitted to change your final will and testament or enter into a marriage on your behalf.
A GPOA can only be used when the principal is rational and can decide for themselves. A GPOA terminates when the principal cannot manage their affairs or passes away.
A durable power of attorney should be completed if the principal wants the agent to continue should the principal become disabled.
Financial Power Of Attorney
An FPOA is a unique or limited power of attorney. It delegates authority to your agent to take action on your behalf concerning specific topics of your choosing.
In this instance, your agent can manage your financial matters, property or business affairs. You could, for instance, give your agent the power to:
- Pay bills
- Make bank withdrawals and deposits
- Manage property
- Manage and collect your pension benefits
- Rent or even sell real estate
- Submit your taxes
Which abilities you want your agent to have is up to you. You might, for instance, want your agent to handle your property or make your payments. Additionally, FPOAs may or may not be durable, depending on your wishes.
Is a Power of Attorney Valid Across State Lines?
A power of attorney that is in effect when you sign it will typically continue to be so, even if your state of residency changes. Even moving to a new state alone shouldn’t need the signing of a new power of attorney. It is a good idea to take the chance to update your power of attorney.
The update should ideally be included in a review and update of your overall estate plan.
Can I Revoke a Financial Power of Attorney at Any Time?
You still have the legal authority to handle your funds even if a financial power of attorney is in place. Your agent is obliged to carry out your requests.
A financial power of attorney can be started and ended at any moment.
How Often Should I Review and Update My FPOA?
You should update your durable power of attorney at least once every ten years, if not more frequently. There are various reasons for this:
- Banks and other financial organizations may reject an older document as laws change over time
- The persons you name could change, especially if you name a couple together
- As the law evolves, you might wish for additional authority to safeguard your possessions.
Does a POA Have to Be Filed With the Court in Georgia?
POAs do not need to be filed in court. POAs should be notarized, witnessed by two adults, and kept in a secure location by the principal unless there is an urgent need to exercise them. However, it does not need to be included in public records.