Ensuring these powerful contingency tools are effective and not subject to abuse
Powers of attorney empower people you choose to legally act as your proxy in circumstances where you may not be capable of making decisions. Fillmore Spencer LLC in Provo helps you determine which powers of attorney can facilitate various aspects of your estate planning and long-term healthcare should you become incapacitated.
There are four requirements to issuing a power of attorney: (1) You must be able to understand what you are doing and your authorization must be (2) in writing and (3) notarized. And (4), the power is to be granted in connection with real property, with documentation filed with the recorder of the county where the property is located.
Otherwise, there is no need for witnesses or other complications. Just make sure the person who will exercise the power, also known as the “attorney-in-fact,” gets a copy of your authorization. That will come in handy if they need to prove to another party that they are responsible for representing you.
The number of cases alleging powers of attorney abuse has risen in recent years. Seniors are finding that their adult children are improperly exercising their power of attorney when it comes to expense reimbursements and making bank withdrawals.
In Utah, a person who exploits an elderly person’s power of attorney to their advantage, or to the advantage of another, may be found criminally liable. Fillmore Spencer LLC prosecutes and defends attorneys-in-fact in powers of attorney abuse cases.
We also help grantors carefully initiate powers of attorney, regularly review powers they have conferred, keep copies of their authorizations for reference against potential counterfeiting, and build in controls that limit attorney-in-fact capabilities (letting one child pay bills only $500 and less, another managing brokerage accounts, having each responsible for providing monthly or yearly accounting statements to other family members and your attorney).
A good estate planning attorney will help you determine which types of powers of attorney would be most appropriate for your estate plan:
Fillmore Spencer LLC helps vet the value of powers of attorney to their estate plan, and helps grantors pursue cases alleging breach of attorney-in-fact fiduciary duty and unauthorized conversion of grantor property, seeking punitive damages wherever possible. For more information, call our Provo office at (801) 426-8200 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.