Why Do I Need a Power of Attorney If I Have a Trust?

 In Durable Powers of Attorney



If I have a revocable trust (funded) with incapacity provisions, and pour over will in place, why would I need a power of attorney springing only in case of incapacity?


Good question. You’re less likely to need a durable power of attorney than someone who has not planned as well as you have. But it still makes sense to sign one just in case. Your trustee on your revocable trust cannot sign legal contracts on your behalf or deal with any finances you may have outside of trust. For instance, if you had to move to assisted living, someone will have to sign the contract with the facility. Or if you own any retirement accounts, they must be held outside the trust. Someone would need to sign the paperwork to withdraw your annual required minimum distributions. Your agent under a durable power of attorney can take these steps. Finally, even with diligent effort, sometimes things fall through the cracks so an account may show up that’s not in the trust and someone needs to have the legal right to transfer it into the trust.


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