Elder Care

Durable Power of Attorney

Benefits and Disadvantages of a Durable Power of Attorney

We have already discussed many of the benefits of a Durable Power of Attorney. Overall, this legal instrument, if properly drafted, gives you the control over the person who will manage your affairs, should you be unable to by virtue of unexpected mental condition.

The most glaring disadvantage of any Power of Attorney is that you are forced to trust another person to handle some or all of your financial affairs. This person can have total power and control over these affairs and is allowed, by law, to make discretionary decisions regarding these affairs. It is not uncommon for agents to abuse the powers conferred upon them and/or use these powers to benefit themselves instead of your family.

To overcome this disadvantage, some people who might be considering a Durable Power of Attorney seek to appoint two agents, instead of one. However, this has obvious disadvantages also, such as what happens when the two agents disagree as to how to best serve your estate.

Another legal vehicle to accomplish similar purposes is a trust of some type. There are many different trusts, and these are more fully discussed in the section on Revocable and Irrevocable Living Trusts.

Durable Power of Attorney
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