Proudly serving the City of Coronado, Imperial Beach, and the Greater San Diego area
• Economical to create
• Can be put into effect quickly
• Can have an unlimited duration and does not need to be periodically reviewed
• Is flexible in that it can be tailored to fit a specific situation
• Is private
• Allows the principal to have someone else manage his or her affairs on a trial basis
• Does not require formal transfer of title of the principal’s assets into the agent’s name
• Court review and approval of the DPOA is not required
• As long as the principal retains capacity, she or he can revoke the DPOA at any time
• In order to be effective, the third party (i.e. financial institution, service provider etc.) must accept the DPOA as valid
• The principal or agent may not fully understand the document being executed
• Abuse by the agent
• The agent is generally not required to render an accounting
• The agent is not supervised by the court
• The principal still retains full legal capacity to act to her or his detriment
An integral part of any estate plan includes proper consideration for a person’s potential incapacity. In California, two primary estate planning tools are used to plan for an individual’s incapacity. Those tools are a durable power of attorney for financial management (DPOA), and an advance health care directive (AHCD) for health decisions.
A power of attorney is a written legal document that gives another person the right and authority to act on your behalf. That authority will end if you become incapacitated — unless you have a durable power of attorney. A durable power of attorney will remain in effect if you ever become incapacitated. This means that if you were suddenly unable to handle your own affairs, someone you trust--your legal agent or attorney-in-fact — could do so for you. You might choose to set up a springing power of attorney, which would only become effective at a specified future date or event, such as if you were to become incapacitated.
You can authorize your agent to simply pay your bills. This is usually a safer arrangement than adding someone else's name to your bank account. You can empower your agent to handle nearly all of your affairs. Your agent, however, cannot take anything of yours as a "gift" without your specific written authorization. These powers of attorney all expire when you die. Make sure that you understand all of the terms before signing a power of attorney. Be absolutely certain that your chosen agent is both capable and trustworthy. Seniors have lost their life savings to unscrupulous agents — even to agents who are family members.