The benefits of a highly detailed, comprehensive power of attorney (POA) are numerous. Unfortunately, many powers of attorney are more general in nature and can actually cause more problems than they solve, especially for our senior population. Here are 10 things to consider when planning for a power of attorney:
1. Provides the ability to choose who will make decisions for you (rather than a court).
2. Avoids the necessity of a guardianship or conservatorship.
3. Provides family members a good opportunity to discuss wishes and desires.
4. The more comprehensive the power of attorney, the better.
5. Prevents questions about principal’s intent.
6. Prevents delays in asset protection planning.
7. Protects the agent from claims of financial abuse.
8. Allows agents to talk to other agencies.
9. Allows an agent to perform planning and transactions to make the principal eligible for public benefits.
10. Provides peace of mind for everyone involved.
Nobody can predict exactly which powers will be needed in the future. The planning goal is to have a power of attorney in place that empowers a succession of trustworthy agents to do whatever needs to be done in the future. Please call us if we can be of assistance in any way or if you have any questions about durable powers of attorney.