Common Estate Planning Mistake #9: Failing to name enough successor agents under a Power of Attorney for Property

There are only two people who can give somebody the authority to make and carry out decisions for you. One is a Judge through an expensive guardianship proceeding and the other is you through a Power of Attorney. A Judge can give that authority to just about anybody, whether we would want them to have it or not. So, it makes sense for us to give that authority ourselves to the people we would want to have it, as long as we are capable of doing so.

In this Estate Planning Minute, Wes Coulson, St. Louis area attorney, discusses another common estate planning mistake and the pitfalls we can have when we fail to name enough successor agents under a Power of Attorney for Property.

Common Estate Planning Mistake #9: Failing to name enough successor agents under a Power of Attorney for Property

Transcript:

Hi, I’m Wes Coulson and this is your Estate Planning Minute. This is another in our series on Common Estate Planning Mistakes. Today’s subject is: Failing to name enough successor agents under a Power of Attorney for Property.

I’ve almost lost count of the number of times in which people have named somebody as their agent, but haven’t named any successors. Here’s what you need to understand. There are only two people in the world who can give somebody the authority to make and carry out decisions for you.

  1. One is you,
  2. The other is a Judge in a guardianship or conservatorship proceeding.

Where ever your list ends, the Judge’s begins. Who’s the Judge going to name? Well, you know what, who knows? Perhaps family members who aren’t on your list because you would not want them to be agents, perhaps a stranger to your family, or perhaps a public guardian. You know, people die and they don’t always die in generational order. Not everybody who is named to serve as a power of attorney agent is willing or able to take on that responsibility.

So, again, it’s really important to name enough successors. Thanks.

For more about Power of Attorney for Property documents, visit these articles:


Coulson Elder Law is dedicated to providing families in the St. Louis area with their Elder Law needs. Our practice areas include Asset Preservation Planning, Veterans Benefits, Medicaid Eligibility, Alzheimer’s Planning, Special Needs Planning, Estate Planning and more. We understand the financial challenges you may face as you and your loved ones grow older. At Coulson Elder Law, our clients’ well-being is our number one priority. For immediate help, call (877)995-6876 or Contact Us and we will get in touch as soon as possible.