Power of Attorney documents are an integral part of your estate plan
Power of Attorney documents are an integral part of your estate plan – both a Power of Attorney for health care and a Power of Attorney for finance. Power of Attorney gives someone you trust the ability to act in your stead or speak to certain professionals on your behalf. Imagine you have been in an accident – who should have permission to speak with your physician or work with your financial institution to be sure your bills are all paid?
I’ve seen first-hand the frustration when there are no Powers of Attorney and a financial institution simply will not speak to a child or parent who is trying to help a loved one. It’s understandable – this is exactly how fraud happens. But that doesn’t feel very good when you’re the one who needs help or is trying to help someone you love or care about. AND, when you need the Power of Attorney – when someone is hurt or has become incapacitated – is absolutely the hardest time to get it. Getting Powers of Attorney in crisis mode means getting physician approval or notaries that simply seem impossible at the time.
Plan ahead. Understand the various powers that can be granted to you or a family member or trusted friend. Additionally, work now with financial institutions to get your Power of Attorney approved with them in advance so that there is no hold-up during an emergency.
Friend to PlumTree, Stephanie Kalogredis, from Lamb McErlane, weighs in on various types of Power of Attorney and what you should know about them:
Powers of Attorney – One Size Does Not Fit All
With the proliferation of on-line services, document preparation programs, and Google searches, anyone can get access to a form document and prepare a general financial power of attorney. But is that wise? Read more here:
Powers of Attorney are Powerful Documents. A general financial power of attorney (“Power of Attorney”) is a powerful legal document. It can give tremendous authority to another person (the “Agent”), including the right to access your bank and investment accounts and to sell your property. It is not something you should enter into lightly.
Who is the right person to serve as Agent? (read more)
Stephanie concentrates her practice in estate planning and estate & trust administration and wealth transfer and succession planning. She assists her clients in finding personalized solutions to meet their estate planning goals through the use of wills, trusts, gifting and legal agreements and when the time comes, helps settle estate and administer trusts.