Brian was 82 and trusted his neighbor’s son, Tim.
Tim ran errands for Brian, including buying his groceries and medications. Brian would also get Tim to cash his cheques for him at the bank.
One day the bank suggested that Brian add Tim’s name to his account. This joint account was supposed to make things easier.
No one expected this would make it easier for Tim to help himself to Brian’s money. But that’s what happened. As Brian became more forgetful, he just signed blank cheques for Tim to cash.
Who Can Help You?
When Brian’s daughter, Dorothy, visited her father, she was shocked to discover that his taxes were unpaid. There was no money in his bank account. Tim had helped himself to thousands of dollars of her father’s money.
Dorothy wanted a breakdown of just how much money was gone.
The bank said only her father could authorize the release of this information.
Unfortunately, he now had Alzheimer’s and could not help himself – or her.
Dorothy’s father had not given Dorothy a power of attorney over his finances. The bank would not speak with her about his finances, nor about how much had disappeared.
Protect Yourself with Powers of Attorney
Dorothy spent many more hours checking all her father’s papers, searching for the name of his lawyer. She could not find her father’s power of attorney documents.
It took Dorothy weeks to get to court. She had to apply to the court to be appointed as her father’s guardian to protect his money. This wasted thousands of dollars in legal costs.
Don’t let this happen to you or your family.
Money and Medical Care Are Different
You need to have two kinds of power of attorney documents. One is to handle your property; another is for health-care decisions. Any estate plan can be destroyed without these documents.
What’s the key to all this?
You must make those powers of attorney while you still have all your marbles. Click to tweet this
Learn more about how you can protect yourself in Breakthrough Estate Planning.
You have now covered 6 keys to successful estate planning. Wait, I said there were 7 keys. Your last key is coming soon.
See my related free guide and blog posts:
Powers of Attorney: 10 Essentials You Need to Know (free guide)
Edward Olkovich (BA, LLB, TEP, C.S.) is a nationally recognized author and estate expert. He is a Toronto estate lawyer and Certified Specialist in Estates and Trusts. Edward has practiced law since 1978 and is the author of seven books. Visit his website, mrwills.com, for more free valuable information.
© Edward Olkovich 2012