a

Durable Power of Attorney - when activated

hey there it's mark news again and I'm

just wanting to share just a little bit

with you today about durable powers of

attorney so one these questions come up

all the time for estate planners and

maybe you have one maybe you don't you

know what they are or you're you don't

but you know power of attorney is when

you hand over a bunch of power to

somebody friend family member it's a

legal document that you execute and give

somebody the power to do something for

you usually you want to limit those

because those are very powerful

documents we give them off to somebody

they can act as if they are you a

durable power of attorney is the same

thing except that it stays in effect

when you become incompetent so something

happens to you and you can't take care

of yourself anymore you can't you know

handle your finances typically a regular

power of attorney would just no longer

be in effect just by you becoming

incompetent lacking capacity to make

decisions a regular power of attorney is

no longer good a durable power of

attorney has words in it that allow it

to continue on if you do become

incapacitated and so that's the whole

reason we do them in the state planning

they're usually a very key part of your

state plan and everybody should have one

a lot of people don't but you should

have one

now there's two major kinds that's the

springing durable power of attorney and

just a regular you know takes effect

right away power of attorney and there's

some big differences there so a

springing in quotes that's what we call

them it doesn't come into effect until

you become incapacitated so somebody has

to say that you no longer can make

decisions for yourself and that's

usually written in as a physician your

own physician may be a couple of them of

them have to agree and so that seems

like a really smart way to do it why

hand over a whole bunch

power to somebody right away why not

make it not take effect until the time

you need it and that does on the surface

sound like a great plan and it works for

a lot of people but the big downside to

the springing durable power of attorney

is that you've got to get a doctor or

maybe even two independent doctors to

agree to write a letter or somehow

provide evidence that can be used later

that you are in fact incompetent to make

decisions financially and take care of

your your affairs your financial affairs

your property and it's tough to find a

doctor sign off on those frankly even

your own physician sometimes they are

worried about liability what happens if

something goes wrong or maybe someone

claims that you weren't incapacitated in

fact you were okay and you you had

enough ability that you should have been

able to handle your own affairs

so doctors do worry about liability and

so the springing power of attorney

durable power of attorney can sometimes

run into a lot of red tape sometimes it

takes a long time for them to be put

into place or make them effective and if

somebody is in the hospital and need

something to happen their loved ones

whoever they've granted this durable

power of attorney to in the first place

can't do anything for him and so they

might end up having to go to court to

get a you know conservatorship or

guardianship and that was the whole

purpose was to avoid that so you want to

be aware of that now

springing power of attorney durable

power of attorney is a good thing if you

don't have anybody that you want to put

that trust in

you know you probably don't want to give

somebody a power of attorney if you

don't trust them but you know I do

understand the hesitancy that some

people have to not want to give that to

anybody until it's you know maybe a

little closer in time if you feel like

you're getting older and you're starting

to lose some of your ability to properly

manage your affairs maybe that's the

time to do it so those are all valid

things to consider but you know somebody

that you you want somebody to that you

trust in order to hand them over the

keys to the kingdom as it were the pot

durable power of attorney so think about

those things do you want to be a

springing durable power of attorney or

do you want it to be the kind that takes

effect as soon as you sign that paper

they have the power at that point so if

they could hold that paper and they can

take it to the bank or wherever and they

can act as if they were you they can do

do things on your behalf with your money

with your property so you want to be

extra careful when you hand that over to

somebody and you want to really consider

which one's best for you is the

springing durable power of attorney

which has a lot of trade you know red

tape if the time comes that it's needed

or the other kind which is its effect in

effect right away so that way if

something happens and you're in the

hospital your agent or the person that

has the power of attorney can act right

away they don't need to run around

try to convince a doctor to sign off on

some paperwork all right so that's the

difference hope that helped take care