Without an extensive power of attorney (POA), a lot of men and women cannot handle the financial affairs of their nearest and dearest, nor make healthcare decisions without court intervention (conservatorship and guardianship). Unfortunately, it continues to be our experience that many folks, including financial advisors, accountants and even some lawyers do not understand what one is and why it’s essential to get one. Clients frequently come into our workplace supposing, just cause they’re married or are a joint owner of resources, they can sell or transfer resources. In fact, a current client is unable to market his mother’s home cause she never signed a durable power of attorney.
You will find durable powers of attorney that authorize your representative to make decisions for you regarding monetary matters and healthcare powers of attorney which allow your agent to make decisions regarding your health needs.
Yours can be wide in scope, providing your broker the capacity to make any and all financial choices for you (a General Durable POA) or you can limit your agents authority by defining the types of financial decisions you may permit them to make (a Limited Durable POA). You may also prefer to give your agent the immediate authority to make decisions on your behalf (a Durable POA) or you could restrict your brokers authority to act only once you become incompetent (a Springing POA).
Guardianship is a legal relationship in which the court gives a person (the guardian) ability to make private decisions (medical, housing, etc.) for another (the ward). A written statement by a doctor may be essential to establish the ward’s incapacity. The court then determines whether a guardian is required due to this ward lacking the necessary mental ability to make private decisions. Unless restricted by the court, the guardian has the same rights as parents have over their minor children. The guardian is required to report yearly to the court regarding the state of the ward.
A conservator is a legal relationship where the probate court gives a person (the conservator) the power to make financial decisions for a second.
family law attorney are similar to the ones of a guardianship except that the court is deciding whether the individual has the ability to manage their financial affairs. A conservator is also required to submit an yearly accounting documenting (with verification) all of their earnings and expenses incurred each year. A surety bond (an insurance policy) is often needed by the court to protect against the conservator engaging in any improper use of the person’s assets.