Advantages of Power of Attorney | Group

By Dan Barney

Estate Planning & Law

Recently, we discussed comparing using a permanent health care proxy with creating a power of attorney in the living will – living will.

We concluded that the Power of Attorney is a much broader document that gives much more detail about the powers available. Today we consider the benefits of such a permanent power of attorney.

The following is a real situation – events are current and ongoing. They are widespread and occur daily across the country.

James was a successful businessman. He has a good family – a wife and three grown children. He owns several successful companies and has great fortune.

In recent years, however, he has become increasingly forgetful. Last week he became delirious and lost touch with reality. In one day he was completely unable to manage his affairs.

The running of his business did not stop, however, as he had previously established sufficient powers of attorney for both his business operations and his health care.

In addition, most of the business was run in trust, so that a replacement trustee was appointed who, after a formal declaration of incapacity by his doctors, could manage the trust assets immediately according to his wishes.

These planning tools made several things possible:

1) James was treated immediately and placed in an appropriate care facility – health interventions were initiated by his representative under his permanent health care mandate.

2) Its business could be directed immediately by the appropriate people.

3) The companies in his trust could be taken over immediately by the new trustee.

4) There was no delay in obtaining a court-appointed guardian or guardian, and there was no long-term court oversight.

5) All questions related to his estate in the event of subsequent death were all documented prior to his incapacity for work, thereby providing him with the most favorable tax and distribution arrangements. This is in contrast to a situation in which a person becomes incapacitated and has no pre-defined will or other document to define their desires.

Perhaps this example provides a very accurate illustration of situations that occur frequently. It also provides a good reason for early and complete planning with appropriate documentation. It is the real protection for one’s own desires in the face of an uncertain future.

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