I'm not so sure I agree with foxrun41 if one lives in a community property state like Texas. Then again he/she may be right; just questioning it.
Just because people are married does not mean a Power of Attorney is not needed. A POA is a legal document giving one person the power or authority to act for or handle another's personal affairs.
Consider the following example. You and your wife are both forty years old. You are driving down the street when your car is hit head-on. You are unconscious and transported to the hospital, where you remain in a coma for several months. It is expected that you are going to recover; it's just going to take time.
Luckily, your employer provided disability insurance benefits. But the insurance company must issue the benefit check in your name. If your wife does not have a power of attorney, she can't sign your name. Further, assume that the savings account where you keep most of your money is also in your name.
Again, your wife can't withdraw money. Her only recourse is to file a petition in court to have you declared incompetent, so that she can access the savings account and your disability checks.
I don't understand the need for POA is the people are married. Normally it is a surviving spouse who needs one and that is usually an adult child or a lawyer. In any case it is normally states that the POA is only if the person becomes incapacitated. All POA ends with the person's death.
Be very careful to know what kind of POA it is. I signed one called 'Durable Power Of Attorney' during my marriage when we were posted out of the country (to a war zone) so that my then husband could handle repatriating my body and effects should something happen.
Well, we made it through that posting and I forgot about the POA altogether; until about three years later when my then husband used it to completely 'clean my clock'. He took everything using the durable POA. Everything. After over 18 years of what I'd thought was a lifetime marriage.
The court couldn't do much although they sure socked it to him in alimony and child support. ("It's not alimony-it's victim compensation when something like that happens", is the way my attorney presented it and the judge agreed).
Having a POA is a good thing most of the time, but be very careful about whom you trust to have one over your affairs, and make sure it has an expiration date or a clause for revocation.
If I'd been bright enough to revoke that durable one, I would have been in much better shape after the separation.
Depends on how the Power of Attorney is written. You should read it to understand how carry out you duties. In my case, it is to be used to pay bills only while I am incapacitated and not for anything else. It also contains a clause that the person who has the power of attorney cannot use any of my personal funds for their own use. There will be penalties if they do so.
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