I am married. Do I need a durable power of attorney or can my spouse automatically handle my affairs?

There is a common misperception that spouses automatically have the authority to handle their spouse’s financial affairs and access financial accounts that are in the other spouse’s name.

In reality, if your spouse owns an asset or maintains an account in his or her name alone, then you do not have any automatic rights to access or transact business with that asset or in that account. A durable power of attorney gives you that authority, making the process of handling everyday financial tasks simpler and easier.

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