Making sure your future is stable and well-planned is one of the main goals of estate planning. With proper, detailed estate planning, you can make sure your children’s college is funded, pass on your family business, and donate to your favorite charities, just to name a few common goals. A power of attorney is a common instrument in many people’s estate plans. While there are a variety of reasons to execute a power of attorney, you may want to consider talking to your adult child about naming you as power of attorney.
A power of attorney is typically a fairly broad document that allows you to make decisions on behalf of another adult if that adult is unavailable or incapacitated. A general power of attorney would typically give you the ability to sign contracts, acquire debt, and sell assets on behalf of the person executing the document, although the person naming a power of attorney is free to make the terms more narrow.
One of the most common reasons that an adult child will name their parents as general power of attorney is when the adult child is going to be out of the country for an extended period of time. This is often seen when the adult child is about to be deployed with the military. While on deployment, it will be difficult or even impossible for the adult child to execute important legal documents or make urgent financial decisions. With a power of attorney, you can carry out these tasks on behalf of your adult child.
Another reason you may want to talk to your adult child about naming you general power of attorney is if your adult child is facing a severe chronic or even terminal illness. Battling a severe illness or condition can leave your adult child with little time or energy to manage his or her own financial affairs. A general power of attorney can allow you to take the responsibility to manage those issues so the adult child can concentrate on healthcare.
Keep in mind that a person must have capacity in order to execute a valid power of attorney. In other words, if your adult child is mentally handicapped and needs help caring for day-to-day affairs even after he or she turns eighteen, the adult child does not have the capacity to execute the power of attorney. Instead you will need to seek a conservatorship.
We have helped many people with choosing the right estate planning instrument to meet their goals. Call us today at (320) 299-4249 to talk about your case.