Financial Powers of Attorney

The Power of Attorney you have may be inadequate when you need it most.

A Power of Attorney is a document granting someone the ability to speak or act for another in matters like finances, medical or legal issues. Depending on the agreement, the “Principal” may grant the “Agent” power to access bank and brokerage accounts, sell property, or make important medical decisions. Financial powers can be as limited or as broad as the Principal desires.

If these documents are not in place while the individual still has the ability to create them with the access and authority the agent will need, your family may face critical problems and costly lost planning opportunities.

In our practice, the majority of people we see with powers of attorney for finances think their existing documents provide all the authority they need. Unfortunately, this is usually not the case. Under California law, there are at least seven special powers that must be specifically stated beyond a general grant of “all powers.” Few of the documents we see provide these important “special powers.” These “special powers” are not always appropriate but, depending on your situation, they can be indispensable for public benefits eligibility planning and Medi-Cal Recovery Avoidance.

For our estate planning or life care planning clients, San Diego Elder Law Center can draft a financial power of attorney with these “expanded” powers. If a power of attorney is needed for Long-Term Care Medi-Cal/VA benefits and Life-Care planning, we understand when and how to include the “special powers” and language for Medi-Cal and public benefits planning, and how to effectively integrate the powers of attorney with your other planning documents to achieve the desired result.

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