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California Lawyer for Financial Powers of Attorney

San Francisco lawyer for financial power of attorney

Estate Planning Attorney for Financial Decision-Making

When you consider your priorities for creating an estate plan, you may be focused on what happens to your assets after your death. However, a thorough estate plan can also help you protect your finances while you are living. One means of doing so is to establish a power of attorney for your property and finances, granting a trusted person the authority to make decisions in your name when you are not able to make these decisions on your own.

A financial power of attorney offers many benefits, but creating one comes with many important choices, and you may be unsure of how to establish an arrangement that best meets your needs and protects your interests. At the Law Office of David Schechet, our 35 years of estate planning experience helps us provide you with knowledgeable legal guidance so that you can make and execute informed decisions.

What is a Financial Power of Attorney?

California law allows you to establish powers of attorney for several different purposes, including your personal care and medical care. However, a financial power of attorney specifically addresses decision-making authority regarding your property and assets, including real estate, businesses, and financial accounts. When you create a financial power of attorney, you will name a person of your choosing to serve as your "attorney-in-fact" or "agent." Depending on your needs and wishes, your agent can take a variety of actions on your behalf.

Some of the responsibilities you may assign to your agent through a financial power of attorney include:

  • Managing deposits, withdrawals, and transfers for your bank accounts
  • Managing your investment portfolio and retirement savings
  • Managing your business affairs, including contracts, acquisitions, sales, revenue, and expenses
  • Managing your personal expenses, including bills, debts, and costs of your care
  • Establishing and managing trusts in your name
  • Filing your taxes
  • Purchasing insurance coverage
  • Applying for governmental benefits

Your agent is legally obligated to act in your best interests and manage your finances in a way that a reasonably prudent person would. That said, you should think carefully about who is best suited to serve as your agent based on factors like their trustworthiness and financial savvy.

Types of Financial Powers of Attorney

You also have the ability to define the extent of the authority that your agent will have, as well as when their authority will take effect. We can help you decide between the different options for a financial power of attorney, including:

  • Limited power of attorney - A limited power of attorney allows you to designate specific circumstances or specific decisions over which your agent has authority. It may be a good choice if you still want to manage most of your own affairs but you need someone to assist you when you are unavailable.
  • General power of attorney - A general power of attorney grants your agent authority over all of your financial matters. It may be a good choice if you are no longer capable or interested in managing your own affairs.
  • Durable power of attorney - A durable power of attorney is important if you want your agent's authority to remain in effect in the event that you become incapacitated. In California, you must specify in writing that the financial power of attorney is durable.
  • Springing power of attorney - A springing power of attorney is similar to a durable power of attorney, except that it only takes effect if you become incapacitated. It can be a good contingency plan to protect you from the unexpected.

Contact a California Lawyer for Help Creating a Power of Attorney

We can work with you to draft and execute a financial power of attorney and any other documents you need for your estate plan. Contact us today for a free initial consultation by calling 800-282-4731. We make our services available to clients in their own homes throughout the state of California.

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