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What Can an Attorney-in-Fact Do?

Guardians Have Limited Power

A guardian or attorney-in-fact (through a power of attorney document) may be appointed to take care of financial matters if the principal becomes incapacitated. Appointing someone to act on your behalf is a very smart move before you are too ill to make a designation.

Power of Attorney Cannot Change Beneficiaries

While a guardian can take over bank accounts for making payments for medical needs or simply paying monthly bills, a guardian has limited power to make changes to the account. For example, a guardian or power of attorney may not be able to make any changes to the beneficiary designations which were made by the principal before becoming ill.  Even if the designated beneficiaries are no longer financially responsible, a bank may be very hesitant to allow a temporary guardian or attorney in fact to make such far-reaching decisions such as who will inherit under the account designations.

Getting Legal Help

An experienced Estate Planning Attorney can help you draft documents and beneficiary designations which will help your loved ones take care of your affairs when you can no longer do it yourself. Contact us today at 973-841-511.

Posted in: Estate Planning, New York Estate Planning