I see a disaster coming…
Yeah, that headline is brilliant click-bait. But I need you to read this.
Do you have a Durable Power of Attorney? If so, what EXACTLY does it say?
When is your agent able to act on your behalf?
Durable Power of Attorney Language
See that language above? I’ve seen this more times than I can count. Is there a good reason to have not one but TWO physicians to have to certify, in writing mind you, that you are incapacitated? Maybe. But think about it from your agent’s perspective. What a pain! How quickly can she/he get this done when she/he needs to act…NOW?
Think about it from the physician’s perspective too. Here comes a grieving spouse, hub is laid up in the hospital for whatever reason and she needs to get doctors to sign off that hub is out of commission. Not dead though, as that is much easier to contend with. But incapacitated.
All a doctor can see is the mass amount of liability facing them if they are being played.
I am attaching a chapter on this exact issue from my first book Strategic Money Planning. 8 Easy Ways to Get Your House in Order, where I show you a real world scenario of how this may actually play out. Not good. Click here for that chapter.
Now, again, I’m not an attorney. YOU may have specific reasons why you need a physician to sign off on your incapacity before your agent, i.e., attorney in fact, can act on your behalf. In fact, you may have specific reasons why you need TWO doctors to sign off on your incapacity. I don’t know your situation. And will leave that to you and your attorney.
But please consider if this is your default option, do you understand the ramifications and what that could mean to your attorney in fact?
This is the odd thing about real financial planning. True financial planners are a paranoid bunch. What are the risks lurking behind each bush? How do we minimize those risks?
Of course, just because one is paranoid doesn’t mean there aren’t things out to get you. Risks are everywhere. We don’t want to be frightened to the point of being debilitating though. That’s what planning does. Hope for the best but prepare for the worst.