Should I give copies of my durable power of attorney to anyone?

As a best practice, you may wish to provide copies of your signed and executed durable power of attorney form to your bank, credit union, investment adviser, brokerage house, life insurance agent, and to any other organization where you maintain financial accounts or assets.

While this step is optional until your agent actually needs to act on your behalf, providing copies to your providers ahead of time can ease your agent’s burden if and when they need to begin using the power of attorney form for you. Financial organizations will often require a period of time—anywhere from a day to a week or more—for their legal department to review their customers’ durable powers of attorney before they will accept the forms.

Often, an unforeseen accident or illness precedes the need to use a durable power of attorney. If you have already given copies of the document to your financial services providers, your agent will not need to worry about taking that step and should have the authority they need to act right away without an inconvenient and frustrating waiting period.

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