A statutory durable power of attorney is one of the most important estate planning documents you can create, but it is also one that can be misused. While it is not possible to completely prevent the possibility of financial abuse, there are steps you can take when drafting the document to greatly reduce the chances.
A statutory durable power of attorney allows a person you appoint (your “attorney-in-fact” or “agent”) to act in place of you (the “principal”) for financial purposes when and if you ever become incapacitated. This allows the person you choose to be able to step in and take care of your financial affairs. Unfortunately, if the agent chooses to exploit the principal, a power of attorney in the wrong hands or with too much power can be bad news. The following are some ways a power of attorney can be drafted by your attorney to prevent someone from taking advantage of you or your loved ones.
While these steps will be helpful to include in your statutory durable power of attorney to prevent financial abuse from happening, it is crucial to have an attorney draft the document for you. Power of attorney documents found online may exclude these important provisions. The steps listed above will give you a good idea of what an excellent estate planning and elder law attorney should include in the document.
To discuss putting a statutory durable power of attorney in place with an experienced member of our team, give us a call at (281) 218-0880 or schedule online here.
Kimberly Hegwood is the Managing Attorney of Your Legacy Legal Care, a Houston estate planning law firm. With more than 25 years of experience practicing law in Texas, she represents clients in a wide range of legal matters, including elder law, asset protection, estate planning, Medicaid crisis planning, probate, guardianship, and other estate planning practice areas.
Kimberly received her Juris Doctor from the South Texas College of Law and is a member of the State Bar of Texas.
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