Jul 28, 2015 - 12:45 PM
A power of attorney goes well beyond accessing assets (which may be achieved as a joint owner) but provides the agent legal authority to make important financial planning decisions such as long-term care planning for Medicaid or veterans aid & attendance benefits. A well drafted financial power of attorney will also provide authority for the agent to manage insurance issues, lawsuits, tax returns and many other details. Failing to have a power of attorney for an elder who no longer has capacity may require the family to go to court and request a guardian to be appointed. For many elder, who are afraid of losing control, the only real way to keep control is to sign a carefully prepared power of attorney that names a trusted agent to act in his or her best interests.
Jul 30, 2015 - 08:02 AM
A person (legally referred to as a “Principal”) can execute powers of attorney in all shapes and sizes and for numerous purposes. Usually, a person working on their estate plan will execute two separate powers of attorney: (i) one general power – pertaining to business and finances; and (ii) a healthcare power of attorney – for medical purposes. Both are usually “springing” powers, and both are usually “durable,” meaning they survive the incapacity of the principal.
Remember that a person must have the proper capacity to execute powers of attorney. If they do not have appropriate capacity, it may be “too late” to execute the powers of attorney. In such a case, you may need to look at your options regarding conservatorship proceedings.
Jul 31, 2015 - 08:02 AM