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Why you need a power of attorney even if you already have a trust

Why do you need a durable power of attorney if you already have a trust? Two reasons. First, your agent under your power of attorney is responsible for managing your non-trust assets. Second, your agent can act in areas where your trustee cannot. For example, if you are incapacitated, your agent (but not your successor trustee) can do the following on your behalf:

  • File tax returns
  • Deal with the IRS
  • Apply for public benefits
  • Manage life insurance policies that are not owned by your trust
  • Admit you to a hospital, rehab facility, or nursing home
  • Resign on your behalf if you are serving as an executor, guardian, or conservator of someone else
  • Obtain information from financial institutions, including pension companies
  • Hire caregivers and other professionals on your behalf
  • Access safe deposit boxes not owned by your trusts
  • Change your domicile (the place that is legally considered your home)