What is a durable general power of attorney?
A durable general powers of attorney – or what is commonly called a financial power of attorney – appoints a person or financial institution you trust to handle your finances if you become unable to do so yourself. Your power of attorney is referred to as your agent or attorney-in-fact. When acting on your behalf your agent has a legal obligation to act in your best interests, keep accurate records, keep your property separate from his or hers and avoid conflicts of interest. If you become unable to manage your finances and you have not prepared a durable power of attorney, your family must initiate a conservatorship proceeding with the court to obtain legal authority to transaction on your behalf. Conservatorship proceedings in the state of Tennessee are usually expensive and time-consuming.
Preparing your durable general power of attorney
Preparing a durable power of attorney is relatively simple and inexpensive. If you do become unable to manage your financial affairs, a financial power of attorney will likely save your family much time and expense. You may find that it is most beneficial to prepare your durable power of attorney so that it is effective immediately, and then clearly direct your agent on when and how to act on your behalf. If you are not comfortable granting someone immediate authority over your finances, your durable power of attorney for finances can direct that it become operational only if you are unable to manage your own affairs.