Power of attorney must be done right

What is power of attorney? It is the power to make legally binding decisions on behalf of another. Non-durable financial power of attorney ends when the person granting it is incapacitated. Durable power of attorney continues. If you are going to be named as a trustee or attorney-in-fact, you will want an attorney who is both trustworthy and experienced in this field to help draw up the power of attorney so that it is legally binding.

If financial powers of attorney are drawn correctly, they can protect an individual's assets when that individual might be placed in a nursing home. This is done through gifting, but the document must contain language that explicitly allows it to take place. If this language is not there, you may find out too late that you are not allowed to sell the assets you have been trusted to sell. This will leave you with financial obligations you have no way to meet.

Consider things from the banker’s point of view. No banker wants to risk becoming party to theft — it would go against their professional ethics. Nor do they want to risk being accused of such by outraged relatives, which would ruin the reputation that is their basis for existence as a business. They have been trusted to guard the wealth of their customers, and if there is any confusion in the power of attorney, they will leave on the side of leaving that wealth untouched.

Help with power of attorney in Gastonia, NC

If you are someone else’s attorney-in-fact, you need to be sure that the financial power of attorney is drawn up properly, so that you can use it to protect the assets of the person who drew it up when he or she goes into a nursing home. In order to create an avenue by which assets can be protected, the person who draws up the power of attorney must insert language that allows gifting to take place. And the time to make sure this has been done is while the person who drew it up is still of sound mind and can amend the power of attorney.

Not every attorney knows to include this language, and there is certainly no guarantee that it will be present in an online form. It is therefore very important that a power of attorney be prepared — or at least examined — by an elder law attorney, who has the experience and understanding to incorporate the necessary language into a financial power of attorney to achieve desired results.

Robert C. Whitt is a Gastonia attorney, servicing the areas of Gastonia, Charlotte, Mount Holly and Gaston, Mecklenburg, Lincoln Counties and surrounding communities. He focuses on wills, trusts and other aspects of elder law. If you need a power of attorney drawn up, make an appointment today.

New-ticket Create new ticket

Create your profile

Help contribute to this project by taking a few moments to create your personal profile. Create your profile »

Shared Ticket Bins