Assigning a Power of Attorney for Your Finances

Posted by the Charleston, SC Will and Estate Planning Lawyers at Anderson & Schuster, Attorneys at Law, LLC. Our Estate Planning Attorneys help those in need of estate planning documents such as a Will, Healthcare Power of Attorney, Financial Power of Attorney, Trust, or other estate planning tools. Our estate attorneys create estate plans that fit each client's specific needs.


Unfortunately, no one can escape getting older or the loss of mental capacity that may come with it. And you are also never immune to the possibility of an accident that may leave you unable to handle the financial aspects of your life, like paying bills, managing investments or making other key financial decisions.
Giving someone you know "power of attorney" allows that person (your agent) to manage your financial affairs if you are unable to do so because of incapacity. Your agent can sign your name, pay bills and access your bank accounts, all as your fiduciary, which means they must act in your best financial interest at all times and in accordance with your wishes as spelled out in your power of attorney documents.

Two types of powers of attorney are generally used in estate planning. The first becomes effective when you become incapacitated. That means your agent cannot act until your agent provides some proof you are incapable of making decisions for yourself. The second is a durable power of attorney. It is effective immediately, regardless of your mental capacity. Our Charleston estate planning attorneys can help you choose which is right for you.

Careful thought should go into choosing an agent. Your agent should be competent and trustworthy, and also willing and ready to take on the task of being your agent for financial affairs. If you choose a relative or friend as your agent, they will likely agree to be your agent without compensation. If you name a bank, lawyer or other outside party, they will want compensation for their services.

If you do become incapacitated without having assigned power of attorney, the South Carolina Probate Court will step in to appoint a conservator. This process can be expensive and time consuming, and the conservator will have to make annual accountings to the Probate Court. Also, it's very possible the Probate Court will pick a conservator that you would have chosen.


Charleston, SC Will and Estate Lawyers

Our Charleston Will and Estate Planning Attorneys help those in need of estate planning services, including a Will, Trust or Power of Attorney. Our Estate Planning Law Firm helps clients in Charleston, North Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Summerville, Goose Creek, Moncks Corner and the surrounding areas.