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The Power of the Power of Attorney – Part 2

In my post last week, I wrote about 2 recent calls from former clients of ours that highlight the importance of a power of attorney. Our power of attorney is very detailed and designed to cover as many different situations as possible – even though as I always say that as to any one person much of what is in our document doesn’t apply but it can’t hurt to put more into the document than less.

In the first instance, the client was in a personal relationship which family members found suspect. Her two sons were concerned for their mother’s safety and discovered spending that was not the norm for Mom. When she was hospitalized they contacted the police for the purpose of asking assistance in removing the person from their mom’s home.

The power of attorney which I had prepared several years earlier became an important document. I told the sons who were co-agents under her power of attorney that they would need to satisfy the police and any other third party that they had the right to make decisions regarding the home. I pointed them to the specific language giving them the right to manage real property and specifically to evict tenants and restrict access and possession to the property. With police assistance they were able to remove the individual from Mom’s home and from her life completely.

In the second case family discovered that our client had fraudulent charges on her credit card. The daughter, who is the agent under power of attorney for her dad, was having difficulty getting the credit card company to talk to her. Our document is 20 pages but in a quick call with her I was able to point to the specific language in our document that allows her to resolve claims made on behalf of or against her dad. When she pointed this language out to the company she was able to establish immediate communication and the credit card company flagged the fraudulent charges and reimbursed her dad. In each case the detailed language in the POA did the trick. So the next time someone suggests that a 2 or 3 page POA obtained off the internet is just as good and will cost you nothing don’t believe it. Maybe you won’t face a situation similar to the ones above but if you do, you’ll be glad to have a powerful document in your tool belt.