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Financial Powers of Attorney

Financial, a.k.a. "Durable", Powers of Attorney appoint another person to execute financial transactions for you.


A small business owner suffers an accident and is unable to sign payroll checks. The properly appointed agent can sign the checks on the business owner’s behalf.

Consider a service member, deployed overseas, whose car is stolen. The police require a power of attorney to file a complaint as does the insurance company to file a claim.


A Financial Power of Attorney is an extremely powerful document. The appointed person has the right to perform any financial transaction for you, including opening a credit card, cashing out bank accounts or selling your home. All of these have happened.  The person you appoint as your agent needs to have your complete trust.

If you have concerns about giving these broad powers to someone, consider

  • Limited Powers of Attorney—granting only specific authority
  • Springing Powers of Attorney—granting authority only after doctors have declared you incompetent

Some financial institutions do not recognize Financial Powers of Attorney and require their own paperwork. Check with your banks, mutual fund companies, etc.

Finally most financial institutions want recent documents, so we recommend updating them every three years.


<NEXT:  Health Care Powers of Attorney and Living Wills>

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