Problems with Durable Powers of Attorney



Durable Powers of Attorney are awesome in many ways. They allow your agent (your attorney-in-fact) to act as your fiduciary and make decisions on your behalf regarding certain situations (such as buying/selling real estate, investing/withdrawing money in/from your investment accounts, etc.) when certain conditions are met (often time incapacity on your part which may result from a coma, alzheimers, etc.). This is not an exhaustive definition, but just trying to get you a general understanding. Ex: Jim goes into a coma, his wife has passed away, so his successor agent Bob now has a right and responsibility to carry out Jim's financial affairs for Jim's benefit. But there can be problems with these Powers of Attorney: (1) some financial institutions won't accept them; (2) Some financial institutions require that it be on their own form; (3) regardless of the fiduciary duty of the agent, some agents have been known to act in their own self-interest, wiping out the net worth of the incapacitated person. It's often better to have a living trust whereby your successor trustee can pay your bills, manage your investments, etc. So make sure you have an attorney who can walk you through these landmines. Oftentimes, Do-it-yourself online programs often fall short in helping people understand the uses, abuses, limitations, and benefits of various instruments.

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Mike Massey JD, MBA, MPA just might be the 195th most interesting person in Texas. He has 4 college degrees and he's working on a 5th:  BBS Accounting; MPA Master's in Professional Accounting; JD Law Degree; MBA Master's in Business Administration; BBS in Biblical Studies (in progress).

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© 2020 Mike Massey Law.  Managing Attorney Mike Massey, 8911 Capital of Texas Hwy, Ste 3210, Austin, TX, 78759.  Email: mike@MyTxWills.com.  Phone: 888-407-2407.  Mike Massey, Texas Bar # 24032584. The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established. Privacy Statement.  Prices can vary based on your unique situation and potential add-on services.  Prices for in-office (in person) meetings typically cost more than virtual meetings that are done over the phone instead of in person.  Prices for virtual estate planning do not include an execution ceremony or notary, as those services are not available with our discounted virtual estate planning packages.