Durable Power of Attorney Worksheet
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Durable Power of Attorney Worksheet

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Durable Power of Attorney Worksheet Durable Power of Attorney Worksheet Document Transcript

  • POWER OF ATTORNEY WORKSHEET Please read the guide before you start to fill out the worksheet. It includes definitions of some legal terms you need to know, as well as the answers to typical questions. Remember: Powers of attorney are important legal documents. If you have any questions, please feel welcome to contact us. Our most important consideration is your full understanding of what you are doing. Once you understand the general information, please complete this worksheet, and return it to our office. GENERAL INFORMATION AND DEFINITIONS WHAT IS A POWER OF ATTORNEY? A power of attorney is a written document in which you (called the principal) appoint someone else (called the agent or attorney-in-fact) to act for you. Your agent can do any legal act you ask your agent to do. WHY IS A POWER OF ATTORNEY IMPORTANT? Everyone should think about having a power of attorney. Having one can be more important to your personal well-being than a will. It allows you to pick someone you trust to handle your affairs if you cannot do so yourself. It gives you peace of mind, knowing that in an emergency someone you choose will have the authority to act for you. If you do not have a power of attorney and you are suddenly incapacitated, your family may have to go through an expensive and time-consuming court action to appoint a guardian and/or conservator. There are different types of power of attorney depending on when you want the powers to begin and end, and how much responsibility you want to give to your agent. A conventional power of attorney begins when you sign it and continues until you become mentally incapacitated. A durable power of attorney also begins when you sign it, but it stays in effect for your lifetime, unless you cancel it. You must put specific words in the document stating that you want your agent's power to stay in effect even if you become incapacitated. If you want this feature, it's very important that you have these words in your document. When you become incapacitated may be the time you especially want your agent to make personal and financial decisions for you. A springing power of attorney begins only when a specific event happens, such as when you become incapacitated. Your attorney must carefully draft a springing power of _______________________________________________________________________ _ Power of Attorney Worksheet – Page 1 of 5 Prepared by: Jay Goodman, Attorney at Law, P.C., 460 St, Michaels Drive, Suite 601, Santa Fe, NM 87505 (Telephone: 505.989.8117)
  • attorney to avoid any difficulty in determining exactly when the "springing" event has happened. All powers of attorney come to an end at your death. Your agent will have no power to make any decisions after you die. Responsibility You can select the responsibilities, or powers, you want your agent to have. You can authorize your agent to do one thing, such as sell your car. Or you can give your agent the authority to do any legal act you could do yourself. You can give a wide range of powers, such as having access to bank accounts, selling stocks, and managing real estate. You may want your agent to sign your income tax return, apply for benefits, and make gifts. You should design you power of attorney to fit your anticipated needs. The best way to draft a power of attorney is to state the broadest range of powers you feel comfortable giving to your agent. This will allow your agent to take care of all matters, even those you cannot foresee now. ARE THERE ANY RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH A POWER OF ATTORNEY? The risks of appointing an agent are small. The most important way to reduce any risk is to carefully choose your agent. Select someone you trust completely. The power of attorney does not mean that your agent owns any of your property. It allows your agent to make financial decisions when you cannot. You can withdraw a power of attorney whenever you want as long as you are competent. Appointing someone as agent does not mean you give up your right to manage your own affairs. CAN I NAME MY TWO CHILDREN AS CO-AGENTS? The law permits you to appoint co-agents. However, it is not a good idea. To make decisions, both must agree. If they disagree, they may have to go to court. This is really expensive, time-consuming and defeats the major reason for having a power of attorney. If you have two equally qualified persons to choose between, you may want to name one as your agent and the other as a substitute to step in if your first choice cannot serve. You could also appoint one to make financial decisions and the other to make health care decisions. This is your choice. Do not be talked into selecting anyone other than the person you want. CAN I STILL MANAGE MY OWN AFFAIRS IF I SIGN A POWER OF ATTORNEY? Even if you sign a power of attorney, you can still manage your own affairs. You are not giving up anything. Instead, you are taking steps today so you agent will be able to act when and how you have directed, when it becomes necessary. _______________________________________________________________________ _ Power of Attorney Worksheet – Page 2 of 5 Prepared by: Jay Goodman, Attorney at Law, P.C., 460 St, Michaels Drive, Suite 601, Santa Fe, NM 87505 (Telephone: 505.989.8117)
  • CAN I CANCEL A POWER OF ATTORNEY AFTER I SIGN IT? Yes. You can cancel, or revoke, a power of attorney at any time by tearing it up, signing a new one, or writing that you want to cancel it. You do not have to give any reason. If you do cancel, it is a good idea to let your agent and anyone your agent has been dealing with know that you have canceled the agent's authority. ABOUT YOU Full name: Street Address: City, State, Zip: Social Security Number: Area code and phone number: Date of Birth: SELECTING YOUR AGENT AND ALTERNATE Enter the name of the person you want to appoint. Full name: Street Address: City, State, Zip: Social Security Number: Area code and phone number: Relationship (e.g., spouse/child/friend): Enter the name of the person you want to appoint as an alternate, in case your first choice is unable to serve. We highly recommend that you name an alternate. Full name: Street Address: _______________________________________________________________________ _ Power of Attorney Worksheet – Page 3 of 5 Prepared by: Jay Goodman, Attorney at Law, P.C., 460 St, Michaels Drive, Suite 601, Santa Fe, NM 87505 (Telephone: 505.989.8117)
  • City, State, Zip: Social Security Number: Area code and phone number: Relationship (e.g., spouse/child/friend): GIFTS You need to decide whether you want your agent to have authority to make gifts on your behalf. Remember that this is a power of attorney, not your will. You are talking about gifts that you want your agent to make during your lifetime, not after your death. If you want your agent to make any gifts, you must give your agent special instructions. Your agent cannot make gifts that you cannot afford, would prevent you from meeting your expenses, would disqualify you for public benefits, or cause any other problems. • Married persons who own a home jointly probably should allow gifts to their spouse. The reasons are too complicated to explain in detail, but they have to do with transferring the house if one spouse ever needs long-term nursing home care. If you want this choice, check here: ____ • You can prohibit your agent from making any gifts. You may want to make this choice because you have no spouse or children, or have made other provisions. If you want this choice, check here: ____ • You can authorize your agent to make any gifts. This would allow your agent to make gifts to him or herself, or any other person or organization. The only limitations are the general ones stated above. If you want this choice, check here: ____ • You can allow gifts to charitable or religious organizations to which you have made regular contributions in the past. If you want this choice, check here: ____ • You can allow gifts (such as the $10,000 annual gift) that would be beneficial for estate taxes or benefit entitlements that are permissible under federal and state law. If you want this choice, check here: ____ MONITORING _______________________________________________________________________ _ Power of Attorney Worksheet – Page 4 of 5 Prepared by: Jay Goodman, Attorney at Law, P.C., 460 St, Michaels Drive, Suite 601, Santa Fe, NM 87505 (Telephone: 505.989.8117)
  • You need to decide whether you want any of your agent's actions monitored or reviewed by someone else. An advantage of a power of attorney is that it does not require court supervision. This lack of supervision also is one disadvantage of a power of attorney. You may want to add a provision requiring your agent to report to someone else if you become incapacitated and are not able to supervise what your agent is doing. • You can ask your agent to give an annual financial report to another family member or friend. If you want this choice, check here: ____ • You can decide that your agent does not need monitoring. If you want this choice, check here: ____ PAYING FEES Decide whether you want to pay your agent for the time spent carrying out your decisions. An agent always can be reimbursed for expenses paid out-of-pocket on your behalf (such as for long distance calls). In addition, you can authorize your agent to take an hourly fee. Professionals, like banks or accountants, normally charge a fee, but this is usually not done if the agent is a family member. If you want to authorize a fee, you need to require your agent to keep time records and charge a reasonable hourly rate. If the agent takes the fee, it is taxable income. You can specify a rate, if you wish. Do you want your agent to be paid? Yes ____ No ____ If yes, how much? ____ "Reasonable amount" or ____ "hourly rate of $ _____ " _______________________________________________________________________ _ Power of Attorney Worksheet – Page 5 of 5 Prepared by: Jay Goodman, Attorney at Law, P.C., 460 St, Michaels Drive, Suite 601, Santa Fe, NM 87505 (Telephone: 505.989.8117)