Critical Conversations- Power of Attorney

May 13, 2014

Here’s an important piece of advice from me- Your Oldest Daughter (or sister in some cases :-))

Be Brave and Have the Critical Conversations

Everyone knows in theory that they should plan early but having the conversation with someone you love to get at least a basic power of attorney in place is not exactly “light” or fun conversation. One of the hardest parts of working with families is being called when it’s too late to help.  Often adult children will contact us wanting us to help an incompetent loved one but they don’t have the legal authority, through a power of attorney, to do so.

Chat with your family TODAY:

First, you want to make sure you and your loved ones have a power of attorney in place. Also, what should you consider when looking at the power of attorney?  I recommend a General Durable Financial Power of Attorney.

Some of you might be thinking- By the way, what exactly is a power of attorney?

A General Durable power of attorney is a legal document that allows someone (an agent) to act in your place. The power of attorney being “durable” simply means that the document stays in effect if you become incapacitated and unable to handle matters on your own  With a valid power of attorney, your agent can handle legal and financial matters when you can not handle them for yourself. For example, your agent can pay your bills, work with financial institutions, and handle investments or real estate. In estate planning or elder law planning, a client having a valid power of attorney in place can make a difference in helping a family or being too late to assist.

Also important to consider: Someone must have a high level of trust in the person being selected as the agent.  I would suggest discussing with family members how important it is for everyone to have basic estate planning documents in place.  To do so, share your plan with your loved ones or you can always bring them to one of my workshops on estate planning.

Let’s keep the conversations flowing.

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