Not all Financial Powers of Attorney are Created Equal

Hi, I’m Wes Coulson and this is your Estate Planning and Elder Law Minute.

One of the great myths about Powers of attorney is that the only real question is whether you have one or not. Truth of the matter is, not all financial powers of attorney are created equal. They give the authority to do what the document says, nothing more, nothing less. Why can that matter? Well let’s say that you want your agent to make gifts to protect assets from long term care costs, maybe to carry out your planning intentions, maybe to save taxes, or maybe you want to establish a trust. Most Powers of attorney do not include the authority to do that. Unless those powers are specifically included, the law says they’re not there. So, a lot of care and attention has to be given to the language of the Powers of Attorney, you need a lawyer who understands that. Thanks!