A Secret Agent may be very important to protecting the nation. Your Agent is just as important for your protection. An Agent is the person who makes financial decisions for you under a Financial Power of Attorney or makes medical decisions for you under a Health Care Power of Attorney. The Agent under your Financial Power of Attorney may act for you when you aren’t able to act for yourself, for example when you lack capacity. This is called a “springing power.” Alternatively, you also could … [Read more...] about Selecting an Agent
As estate planning attorneys know, the basic estate plan includes a health care power of attorney and a health care directive or living will. Often, we give little notice to these documents. Clients do not like thinking of their own mortality or even the potential for a future illness. But, unfortunately, it involves issues we all must face eventually. The health care directive/living will document or component is designed to express the client’s wishes regarding end-of-life decisions. When … [Read more...] about More End-of-Life Planning Coming?
As estate planning attorneys know, the basic estate plan includes a health care power of attorney and a health care directive or living will. Often, we give little notice to these documents. Clients do not like thinking of their own mortality or even the potential for a future illness. But, unfortunately, it involves issues we all must face eventually. In the past I’ve focused on the health care power of attorney, which appoints an agent to make medical decisions when the client is unable to do … [Read more...] about Health Care Documents May Be the Most Important Thing We Do
Last week, I blogged about the importance of powers of attorney, in general. I focused on financial powers of attorney and their potential abuse. This week, I’ll focus on health care powers of attorney. This is one of the typical documents in a basic estate plan. However, people often give little attention to thinking about this POA. People do not like thinking of their own mortality or their own illness. But, unfortunately, it involves issues we all must face eventually. A health care power of … [Read more...] about Health Care Powers of Attorney
Every estate planning attorney utilizes powers of attorney in their practice. They are a useful part of every estate plan. However, powers of attorney can be very broad or very limited. For example, a power of attorney (or POA) could give the agent the authority only to sell a car or some other asset. On the other hand, a POA could give the agent extremely broad authority to do whatever the agent could do himself or herself. Last week, I wrote about the need for clients to think about estate … [Read more...] about Powers of Attorney
Here’s a recent cautionary tale that you might wish to share with clients about the importance of doing advance care planning – and doing it right. This case was brought to my attention by Hamline Law professor Thaddeus Pope, who writes a terrific blog about medical futility. In March 2014, Terry Mace, age 43, went into cardiac arrest and hit his head on a concrete floor. Mace’s wife – from whom he had been “separated for 5 years and in the midst of divorce proceeding,” – instructed doctors to … [Read more...] about 2 Pitfalls in Getting Clients their Desired Results from Advance Directives
Most clients aren’t familiar with the terms professionals use in discussing who administers their estate and affairs and what those responsibilities are. By providing information on the responsibilities associated with these terms, you can help the client make the best decisions possible. Beneficiary: The beneficiary receives something of value from the estate. For that reason, choosing the beneficiary to administer the estate or trust may present a conflict of interest. Typically, this … [Read more...] about Choosing the Right Fiduciary