The Power of the Power of Attorney – Part 1
Two recent calls to our office highlight once again the importance of the power of attorney – a deceptively simple document that can be obtained off the internet but which, if it is to be at all useful, must be carefully tailored and specific to the anticipated tasks that the agent may be called upon to carry out on behalf of the principal.
In each case the call came from a family member of a former client who is in trouble. These are clients who at the time we first met were in their late 50’s to early 60’s. We prepared estate planning documents for them. We did not engage in long term care planning, however, we always consider the possibility of needing it down the road. In each of these cases that has now or will in the not too distant future become necessary.
Seniors are particularly vulnerable to fraud. Over the years we have had many calls from family members who discovered that a loved one was subject to a financial scam or in a relationship with someone who is taking financial advantage of them.
That was the situation in both recent calls. Luckily, family members recognized quickly what was going on. Some money has been lost but it is small in comparison to the overall financial picture. In each case our very detailed power of attorney has given the agent the ability to step in and limit the damage. Next week I’ll explain how.