One of the tricky things about old age is the point at which you need to legally delegate another to handle your financial matters. This legal “appointment” is one of the most important decisions you will make. Why? Because it can be a license to steal in the wrong hands.
A “power of attorney” is one of the most fundamental legal instruments you will ever create. In fact, everyone upon becoming a “legal adult” (varies by state law) ought to legally appoint one or more trusted “helpers” to handle financial matters in the event of incapacity. The alternative is an unpleasant (and expensive) adventure in the probate court!
But a power of attorney has an unfortunate downside, especially in the form of financial “elder abuse.” It can become a license to steal and an open check book!
The problem of abuse by way of a power of attorney is nothing new. In fact, a recent article in MarketWatch took up the matter. The article, titled “Power of attorney: It’s easily abused,” noted that 34% of all elder abuse doesn’t originate with credit card fraud, bogus lotteries, or emails from foreign lands. No, it is due to family members who have access and maybe even the power of attorney to dispose of accounts as they see fit.
The importance of your selection of attorneys-in-fact cannot be stressed enough. This is one of those decisions when the entire family ought to be apprised and alerted to who is going to do what and why.
Do not go it alone. Engage competent legal counsel to help you navigate these potentially treacherous waters.
Hence the importance of our annual Client Care Program where we review our clients appointed “helpers” to ensure all is well and the family is happy! If there are concerns expressed by the client a change is often necessary.
Have you or your elderly loved ones got your affairs in order by updating your Will and Trust so that your home and cash assets are protected?? There has been many changes in laws and your life that may have impacted your estate plan. Call us for a review!
If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation please call Attorney Patrick Kelleher at 781-871-PLAN (7526) or by email at Pat@myfamilylifeplan.com
Our firm helps families taking care of them for life. We not only “create” their Will and Trust, but we “maintain it and keep it updated” for them throughout their life! The meter is not running for our ‘Client Care Plan’ members!
Patrick J. Kelleher is a South Shore, MA resident and estate planning attorney serving and protecting families and businesses in the South Shore, MA area. For more information on estate planning visit our firm’s website at www.MyFamilyLifePlan.com where you can check out our Blog, free Newsletter library, free Estate Planning Channel on Youtube and sign up for a Free e-Newsletter!
Also serving the following communities South of Boston; Quincy, Milton, Braintree, Randolph, Holbrook, Weymouth, Scituate, Norwell, Hingham, Cohasset, Hull, Hanover, Pembroke, Duxbury, Marshfield, Plymouth, Rockland, Hanson, Halifax, Plympton, Carver, Abington, Whitman, Kingston
This article is not intended to provide legal or tax advice or create or imply an attorney-client relationship. No information contained herein is a substitute for a personal consultation with an attorney.