Understanding & Signing The
Durable Power of Attorney For Finances
A Trust Covers Most Things But Not Everything — The Potential Gaps
While it is true that your trust allows your successor trustee to step in and manage trust assets in the event of your incapacity, it is important to remember that this only covers trust assets. This still leaves a certain gap in your affairs.
For example, you cannot title IRA’s and other Qualified Retirement Plans in a trust, and without a power of attorney, a well spouse would be unable to access an incapacitated spouse’s retirement accounts. Furthermore, other matters can pop up that are unrelated to your trust like tax returns, tax elections, and employee benefits to name but a few. And it isn’t always about incapacity either — you could be out of the country, in an emergency, or in some other situation that renders you unavailable.
A Durable Power Of Attorney For Finances Can Help Fill-In These Gaps
Many choose to address these gaps and potential situations by executing a Power of Attorney To Use At Your Option
We Provide A Broad Based, Immediately Vesting Power of Attorney
There are an unending variety of powers of attorney. For example, some are designed to limit the power holder and help guard against abuse. You could literally spend hours and hours of attorney time discussing your options and the pros and cons of each. That however, is something that would take us way beyond the intended scope of this service and that of most living trust processes. As a matter of practicality, we choose to include a broad-based, immediately vesting power of attorney that presently grants your agent the ability to act on your behalf. We find that most people want their agent to be able to act without first having to go to court or obtain letters from two licensed physicians.
An Immediately Vesting Power of Attorney Does Not Require Your Agent To First Legally Establish Your Incapacity
The advantages of an immediately vesting, broad based power of attorney are 1) they cover most acts and 2) unlike springing powers of attorney, there is no need to legally establish incapacity before your agent is allowed to act.
Only Use This Power of Attorney If You Are Comfortable Granting These Broad Powers
Most spouses seem to trust each other enough and most single folks are also comfortable granting someone this power. As a middle ground, some elect to execute the Power of Attorney but keep it private to their own papers and there if the need arises. Remember too, that your trust provides it own level of protection against potential abuse because a power of attorney cannot be used on the trust or trust assets. Ultimately, the choice is yours, but if you are at all uncomfortable or feel a need to explore this issue further, then do not sign this power of attorney. Otherwise you are welcome to use this one.
Sign and Date If You Are Comfortable
Assuming you are comfortable you should sign and date your durable power of attorney right away.
Always Double Check The Notary
Like always,when you have this document notarized you should make sure that the notary stamps, completes and signs all parts of the notarial area.