Do I Really Need A Power Of Attorney Or Can I Just Add Someone I Trust To My Bank Account?
Many people think that they can avoid the need for a power of attorney simply by putting a second person on their bank account, like their son or daughter. While this does make sense, here are some aspects to consider:
- If you have someone else on your account, they are an owner of your account. That means, if they get in a car accident and get sued, your bank account will be one of their assets.
- If there is a second person on your account when you pass away, the funds may not be divided between your children. Instead, this other person, who is co-listed on the account, becomes the new legal owner of the funds in the account.
You should also be aware that having someone else on your account is not sufficient to help with all your finances. Without a power of attorney, he or she would not be able to:
- Sell your house
- Sell your car
- Get repairs done to your house
- Call all your financial institutions
- Deal with your Social Security checks
- Deal with all your living expenses
A properly executed power of attorney will enable the person that you designate to do a number of things, including having access to your bank accounts even if they are not listed on them. You may also have unique circumstances, like if you were a member of a union or are entitled to veterans benefits. Speaking with a lawyer who is skilled in this area of law can help you make sure that there is a plan for your entire financial life.
Let Us Work With You
At Windrose Law Center PLC, we understand that you may have questions about why a thing like a power of attorney is an important tool in estate planning. Contact us online or call 602-857-9386 to learn how we can help guide you through the process.