Today I received a frantic telephone call from the adult daughter of a senior citizen client for whom I prepared an estate plan 10 years ago. Unfortunately, the man, who is a widower, had a serious stroke. He is alive but is not communicative. The daughter called and asked if I had prepared a Durable Power Of Attorney. Even though I had prepared a Will and a Living Will, the client had insisted that he did not want a Power Of Attorney.
Specifically, this client is a very private person and wanted to be in complete control of all of his assets. I had suggested that we establish a Trust, with him being the Trustee and having one of his children as a Co-Trustee who could take over if he came incapacitated. That was rejected.
I suggested a Durable Power Of Attorney. That was also rejected because he did not want anyone to have authority over his affairs. I suggest that the Durable Power Of Attorney could be held until actually needed.
Now, unfortunately without a Trust and without a Durable Power Of Attorney, his children are left scrambling to figure out how they can pay his bills even though there is money in the account and what will happen if he does not recover sufficiently to make the necessary financial decisions. These problems could of been easily avoided.
As I was dictating this blog post, it brought to my attention that I have not revise my own Durable Power Of Attorney in at least 10 years! Once I am done make this post, that is my next project. Maybe it should be yours!
Original Post By: Ronald Cappuccio