Sadly, preparing for your client’s potential incapacity is an integral part of estate planning. In doing so, one particularly useful tool is the financial power of attorney, which provides a trusted agent authority to transact business for your client. Here are a few basic requirements for creating this key document.
It used to be enough for a fiduciary and her attorney to simply search through a decedent’s or incapacitated person’s papers in his or her workplace and at home, watch the mailbox for a 90 day cycle, and review tax returns and account statements. Things are more complicated now and a fiduciary must take several more immediate steps with regard to digital assets.
The following is a guest blog post by April E. Frisby of Frisby Law. April is a lawyer in Orange County who practices business and securities transactional law, as well as estate planning. April is also an adjunct law professor at Whittier Law School.
It can be hard to get folks to think about estate planning—especially the younger ones in the beginning stages of their careers. They believe that there will be many changes in their life before end-of-life planning becomes necessary or they think they don’t have enough money to worry about it. Or, perhaps most risky, they think they can just pick up a form at a stationary store or print it from a website and they’ll be all set. Hopefully the following points will help you convince folks that they need your expertise to get an estate plan in place now!
So, you finally get around to preparing and signing powers of attorney for health care, personal care, and financial management. Now, where should you keep them? Should they be at your home? In a safe deposit box? At your attorney’s office? What’s the point of preparing these important documents if you don’t have them when you really need them?