Every estate plan should have a power of attorney, in which you give one or more people authority to act as agents on your behalf, when you aren’t able to. Every estate planner and guide to estate planning will tell you that. What few will tell you is there are at least two important instances when the power of attorney (POA) won’t be recognized and followed.
While most initial meetings with an estate planning attorney will result in some questions you likely have never considered, there are many ways in which you can prepare for a thoughtful and productive estate planning conference that will result in a better understanding of your goals and more efficient use of time with your attorney.
Has a family member or close friend asked you to serve as their executor, trustee or power of attorney? If you accepted the responsibility, do you know what this entails? Have you been given a copy of the documents you were named under? Do you know when you would begin serving in these roles? These are all important questions to ask or consider.
Do you expect your parents to leave you a financial legacy? Nearly half of working-age Americans assume that they will receive an inheritance that will support them later in life, according to a survey by financial services company HSBC. Perhaps the bigger question, though, is how to even approach this topic with your parents.