Financial Powers of Attorney

A Financial Power of Attorney is a document that appoints a designated person or persons to act in your place and to execute legal documents in your absence or incapacity.

You, the "Principal" name an "Agent" or "Attorney-In-Fact" (as opposed to an attorney at law) to act in your place.

We often refer to a Financial Power of Attorney as "A License to Steal." We call them this since the person named as an agent could misuse a Financial Power of Attorney to access and steal your assets.

For this reason, great care should be used in determining whether or not to even have a Financial Power of Attorney. If you elect to have one, great care must be used in selecting an agent.

A Financial Power of Attorney may be:

  1. "Limited" or "Specific" - for specific transactions, only;
  2. "Springing" - becomes active only on a specified occurrence such as your physician declaring you are incapacitated; or,
  3. "General" - to be used at anytime and for any purpose.

Properly used, a Financial Power of Attorney (along with a Healthcare Power of Attorney) can help you avoid the time and expense of a court supervised conservatorship. A conservatorship is where someone acts on another's behalf by court appointment, and makes decisions for him or her under occasional court review.

Conservatorships in California can be expensive and time consuming. Therefore, in the right circumstances and with a trustworthy agent, a Financial Power of Attorney can be a valuable tool.

Click Here to view a video on Healthcare and Financial Powers of Attorney by Long Beach Probate Attorney John T. Anderson.

If you have questions about Financial Powers of Attorney or other estate planning documents please contact our office.

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The Law Office of John T. Anderson
1741 E. Wardlow Rd., Long Beach, California 90807