When you sign your estate planning documents with our office, you execute many documents. One of those documents is the Property Power of Attorney. The Property Power of Attorney is a document which is used in the event you become incapacitated and your agent needs to step in on your behalf to manage your non-trust financial assets. Most of our clients sign a “springing” Property Power of Attorney. In order for this document to become effective two independent physicians certify that the individual is incapacitated and can no longer manage his or her financial affairs. A family member should contact our office to obtain these physician’s reports. Each physician must complete the form certificating that the person is indeed unable to manage their financial matters, getting two (2) separate physicians’ certificates can take up to thirty (30) days. Once the reports are completed you will need to set-up an appointment with one of our estate planning attorneys to discuss the next steps. Our attorneys’ calendars fill up quickly, so it could take an additional week or two before we can get you in to discuss these issues with one of our attorneys. Staff members or paralegals in our office are unable to give any advice regarding this matter as they are not attorneys. The Property Power of Attorney is no longer valid when an individual dies. When an individual passes away, contact our office to set-up an appointment with one of our estate planning attorneys to discuss the next steps of administering the trust or estate.
The other Power of Attorney you signed at the time you executed your estate plan with us was the Health Care Power of Attorney. The Health Care Power of Attorney is a document in which you appoint selected individuals to make important health care decisions if you are unable to make them for yourself. The individuals listed on your Property Power of Attorney and Health Care Power of Attorney may not be the same people.
We always encourage our clients to revisit all their estate planning documents to make sure they still meet their needs. So long as you are competent and able you have the right to amend your estate plan at any time.
Any of our highly qualified estate planning attorneys can assist you in reviewing and updating your estate planning documents. Please visit our website at www.falkandcornell.com for a complete list of our services.