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The Financial Power of Attorney: Should You Choose a CPA to Act on your Behalf?
When drafting a financial power of attorney (FPOA), most people will look to family members or close friends when naming an agent who will act on their behalf, should they become incapacitated. However, sometimes it may be best to consider a professional. More and more individuals are allowing their CPA to act as a financial agent. If you have full trust in your CPA, they could be a great person to grant financial power of attorney to, and here’s why:
They Already Understand Your Financials
Your CPA should already know and understand your financial situation, which makes them more qualified than most to oversee your finances. When choosing a financial POA, it’s important to choose someone that you trust, but also someone who understands what bills you pay monthly, in addition to which assets you have, and where, i.e. someonewho understands the breakdown of how much money leaves your accounts every month vs. how much money comes in would be ideal.
They Can Discuss Tax Issues
Unfortunately, the IRS is not on our personal timeline. If you were to leave the country or become incapacitated and the IRS sent a letter regarding tax issues, you would have no way of knowing about or handling the issue. The IRS normally operates under quick deadlines, so time is of the essence in these situations. If your CPA was the agent on your financial power of attorney, they could bypass you to discuss—and fix—any tax issues with the IRS.
No Personal Bias
A financial power of attorney oversees all of your financial affairs, including any trusts you may have. If a biased relative were your agent, they could potentially cancel a trust or move money in a way you would not approve of if you had capacity. You have a professional working relationship with your CPA—no ulterior motives—so there should be no personal biases, and no reason to handle your money in any way other than what you have explicitly requested.
Contact Your Attorney
Of course, every individual’s situation is a little different. If you are considering a financial power of attorney, we urge you to speak with an estate planning attorney to get expert guidance on choosing an agent and any of the other important decisions that come along with this task.
If you have questions about—or are interested in setting up a power of attorney—contact us or, complete the brief form below to send a message to our legal team.