Have you ever worried about your financial future? Most of us have at one point or another. One of the thoughts that goes along with it is wondering who you should ask to take care of your finances when you are no longer able to do so yourself.
Some people put it off because it can be a difficult decision to make. But, waiting until a relative or spouse must declare you incompetent of handling your own financial affairs isn’t a good option. What you need is a financial power of attorney. Here are 3 reasons you should have a financial power of attorney to protect you.
To Avoid Court
As mentioned above, it is possible someone could attempt to have the court system declare you incompetent of making your own financial decisions. Or, your well-meaning family may simply need to get one once you are incapable of handling things on your own. However, whether or not it is what you want it isn’t a fast and easy process.
Proper documents must be filed with the court. Although the law can vary somewhat from state to state, it typically involves a medical exam. In addition, the court may choose to appoint a representative that makes financial decisions you wouldn’t normally agree to if you could speak for yourself. If you have a family member who doesn’t agree with the judge’s choice of appointed guardian it could become a drawn out legal battle.
There is also the embarrassment of having to go through the process, which can sometimes become rather public. Plus, it can be costly to go to court as well. It would be far better to avoid all of that by naming someone to act on your behalf ahead of time.
If You Join the Military or Travel Overseas
When you are young, filling out the proper documents in order to name someone as your financial power of attorney might not be the first thing on your mind. But, if you decide to serve your country or travel overseas or pleasure, it’s important that you have a financial power of attorney.
This person may or may not be a spouse or other family member you are close to. Whoever you choose to represent you, make it someone you trust. They need to be reliable and loyal to you. Plus, they need to handle your financial matters as you wish them to be handled while you are away and unable to do so yourself.
When You Have Health Problems
Having any type of health problems is bad enough without adding financial difficulties to the mix. Furthermore, if you are married and think your spouse automatically has the power, you might be surprised to find out that is not always the case. Again, the laws vary from state to state. But, if you are the only one listed as the owner of certain assets it could be a problem.
Everyone’s situation is unique and nobody knows what the future holds. In order to protect you and your family’s financial interests you should have a financial power of attorney set up.
Do you have a financial power of attorney? Why might you need one?