Thursday, September 5, 2013

Power of Attorney for Finance -- Who Do You Trust With Your Checkbook?

Earlier this week I took a call from a financial planner I know.  She was calling for advice to give an elderly client.  In her eighties, the client's health was beginning to decline and the question came up, who would be right to take over the finances when the time comes?  The planner wondered what general advice I might have.  The women had no family nearby.  From my vantage point as an estate planning and probate attorney, I offered the following thoughts:

  • Trust and competency are more important than proximity.  Go with someone who does not have his or her own financial problems, lessen the chance they will either steal or simply drop the ball and create a mess.
  • Finances can be managed from a distance thanks to fax machines, the internet, and smart phones.
  • A remote power of attorney can hire a local daily money manager if local or on-site financial duties are required.
  • Consider skipping over family and friends and naming a professional, such as your CPA.  
People may feel that they are without options, and thus not take control of the situation.  If you hit a roadblock reach out and ask others.  There may be a solution you had never thought of.

Thanks for reading, and remember -- a blog is not legal advice.  Please seek counsel from an attorney licensed in your state.

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