Fast Fact: Without a Will. Half of Americans admitted they don’t have any of the most basic estate planning documents in place. That includes a will, a living will, and financial and medical powers of attorney. Source: Forbes, March 1, 2010
Durable Power of Attorney
What does it do?
Enables you to own property jointly with another person
Authorizes someone to handle legal and financial decisions if you become incapacitated
Holds your belongings until your death
Can it authorize someone to handle your financial affairs if you are unable to communicate?
Can it specify how you want your belongings transferred after your death?
Yes, but only those belongings owned jointly
Is it private?
When does it go into effect?
As soon as joint ownership is recorded
Either immediately or upon a specific trigger event (such as your incapacity)
When the document is signed and the trust is funded