Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA)
(source: The State Bar of California information)
DPOA documents are meant to provide a trusted person to act in your stead. There are two types of DPOAs that you need to include to care of your needs when you are unable or unwilling to do so.
The Health Care Directive should include the name of an agent or attorney-in-fact who you know will advocate for your health care needs. This individual needs to be an advocate to ensure that your wishes (not theirs) will be respected and followed.
The DPOA for property (or finances) will handle day-to-day financial transactions that you normally handle; such as, paying bills or signing your taxes if you’re not able. In addition, if you have a Revocable Trust it is the attorney-in-fact that will transfer non-trust assets to your trust if appropriate.
Know that your DPOAs are only valid while you’re alive.
If you don’t have a DPOA and you are unable to make decisions a court will appoint a professional conservator for you and pay them from your estate. The court does supervise your conservator but it is often more expensive and cumbersome if your conservator does not know or follow your wishes.
Act now, you never know when you might need assistance to direct your financial or your health decisions. You can get templates from the State of California or contact an Estate attorney or call us for an internal referral.
*** This blog is provided as information to encourage individuals to make available documents that are legally important in their lives ***
Edi Alvarez, CFP®
BS, BEd, MS