Do I need a Power of Attorney?

Almost everyone needs a Power of Attorney ("POA"). A POA appoints someone to handle financial transactions for you if you cannot (for example, if you are out of town or if you become incompetent). The powers included in a POA can be broad (or limited if that is desirable). Powers that can be given to an attorney-in-fact include: managing bank accounts, investments and real estate; investing assets; selling personal property and real estate; dealing with Social Security and filing income tax returns. Without a POA, a guardianship may be necessary.