2 ways to protect yourself from abuses of powers of attorney

On Behalf of | Jul 22, 2022 | Estate Planning

Testators who add documents beyond simple wills to their estate plans can better protect themselves against whatever the future might hold. Planning not just for your death but for possible future medical issues is a wise choice.

Powers of attorney help protect you when you are vulnerable, but there is always a risk that the people you grant certain authority may abuse that power to your detriment. You can create an estate plan that adequately protects you from misconduct by those that manage your financial or medical affairs while still ensuring that someone will have the necessary authority to act on your behalf in the event of your incapacitation.

How can you potentially reduce the likelihood of misconduct when you create powers of attorney?

Be specific about when the documents take effect

You can require a specific triggering event for the document to have legal authority. For example, you may require medical incapacitation that persists for a specific number of days before someone acts on your behalf. By nearly defining when the powers of attorney take back, you can prevent people from making use of them when it is not necessary to do so.

Include limitations on the authority you delegate

In addition to including specific rules related to when the power of attorney takes effect, you can add limitations instead of granting general authority to others over your financial and medical concerns. You might authorize someone to only access one bank account specifically to pay certain financial obligations, for example.

Including the right language in powers of attorney while estate planning will give you peace of mind in the event of incapacitation while also protecting you from misconduct.