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A Financial Power of Attorney is a Must… And Here’s Why

financial reviewBy Mary Grace Musuneggi

If you have accounts that are titled in your name only, you need to have a Financial Power of Attorney who can act on these accounts, if you are unable to do so.  The solution may not be to add someone else’s name to the account.  This could cause a gifting issue or other serious problems.  Many married couples believe that because all of their accounts are held jointly, they do not need a Power of Attorney.

But IRA’s are owned individually; and if you are disabled, your spouse cannot automatically act on your behalf for these accounts.  And if you are the person who normally handles an account for another, such as a parent or even an adult child, there may be times that you need to act on their behalf when they are not here to sign or give consent.  A Power of Attorney can help resolve this issue, too.  And with privacy laws, our firm is not permitted to give a child, a sibling, or even a spouse, information on another individual’s account, without written permission.

We are, therefore, requiring that all of our clients provide us with a copy of their Power of Attorney, or we will provide you with an “Authorization to Provide Information” form.  Please fax (412-341-0725) or mail this to our office or bring it to your next appointment.  If you are not prepared to do a complete Estate Plan, we do have attorneys on our team who will prepare a Financial Power of Attorney as a standalone document.

As financial consultants, we feel it is part of our responsibility to help our clients survive any unexpected life situations that may arise.  When you are in need of our help, we want to be in a position to help.  This is one way we hope to accomplish this goal.