Estate Planning Lawyers Can Help With Poa Appointments
An important part of estate planning is deciding who you would entrust with making decisions on your behalf should you become unable. Deciding well in advance of illness is ideal, and this decision should be made at the time you prepare or update your will. There are several types of power of attorney (or POA) — general, specific, enduring — but anyone appointed with this power has the same duty: to act in the best interest of the person who appointed them, and to make decisions as the grantor would. For this reason, it is crucial to appoint someone who knows you well, and whom you can trust implicitly.
Contact Estate Planning Lawyers For Information About POA
If you are considering whom to appoint as your advocate in financial matters, educate yourself on their roles and responsibilities. Contact a local lawyer with a background in estate planning for any laws specific to your state; some estate planning lawyers have packages of information outlining everything you need to know when making this important decision. Generally speaking, whomever you appoint will be able to make decisions about your finances and any legal matters; a specific POA to make health care and end of life decisions can be drawn up separately. You can choose the same person or different people to take care of financial and health care matters.
The most important thing to remember for any type of POA bears repeating: an advocate has a fiduciary duty to act only in the best interest of the person who appointed them and,to the fullest extent possible, make decisions that they believe their appointee would have made had they been able.
What Your POA Advocate Can Do On Your Behalf
When you appoint a POA, you are appointing an advocate to make financial and legal decisions on your behalf. They will have access to your bank accounts and investment portfolios. They can pay your bills and ensure your yearly income taxes are filed. They can hire people to take care of your home if you can no longer cook or clean for yourself, and they can apply for a loan should you need one to cover expenses.
Your attorney should keep detailed records and receipts of all expenses. If it is ever suspected that power has been abused or that he or she has benefited from acting on your behalf, the public trustee may be called to step in. Alternately, a litigation attorney can be hired to request all of the financial records and if wrongdoing is found, power can be revoked by the grantor, or by the courts.
Need To Revoke Your POA? Contact A Litigation Attorney
If you are of sound mind and decide to revoke POA, you will need to sign a revocation document. Litigation attorneys with expertise in estate planning can help you complete the necessary paperwork. There are a number of reasons why power may be revoked. You may no longer require an advocate to take care of your finances if you recover from a temporary illness that rendered you previously incapable. Maybe you’ve changed your mind and would prefer to appoint someone else; perhaps your attorney has proven to be untrustworthy and revoking his or her power will give you better peace of mind. In some cases, an attorney will have moved and is no longer able to act on your behalf.
In cases where the grantor is no longer mentally competent and is unable to sign a revocation document, a litigation attorney with expertise in estate planning would need to be consulted. If abuse is suspected, a lawyer can request a complete review of the financial records. If wrongdoing is found, a litigation attorney can proceed with asking the courts to revoke POA. The public trustee officer may also be asked to step in to handle the grantor’s finances in the future.