POWER OF ATTORNEY AGENT, TRUSTEE, AND EXECUTOR THE DIFFERENCES, DUTIES, AND RESPONSIBILITIES (May 2015)

             I often encounter clients (or their families) who have some confusion about their rights and responsibilities as a legal representative of a family member or friend.  Usually, the person is named as an agent under a financial power of attorney or a trustee of a trust.  What does that mean?  And how far do those powers extend?

A general power of attorney (POA) lets the agent act on behalf of the principal (the person who created the power of attorney and appointed the agent)

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Conquistador Tombstone

Who Decides What Happens To My Remains Anyway? (March 2014)

“Thou know’st ’tis common; all that lives must die, Passing through nature to eternity.”
-William Shakespeare (Hamlet)

Death.  This is a difficult topic to think about.  Most of us spend most of our lives enjoying work, hobbies, friends and family.  We engage in diversions to avoid thinking about this inevitability.  And yet, this is a bridge that we all must cross someday.  Some of us are meticulous planners and dictate exactly what should happen upon our passing, such as

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photo by: amslerPIX

Different Types of Agency: Attorney-in-Fact VS. Trustee (October 2013)

DIFFERENT TYPES OF AGENCY:

ATTORNEY-IN-FACT VS. TRUSTEE

By

Ethan R. Okura

Clients often come to me confused about the different ways their loved ones can act for them if they become incapacitated (or how they can act on behalf of their family members).  Today I’ll explain the different types of agency and fiduciary relationships that are common in estate planning and how they apply to your important life decisions and estate planning documents.

First, let’s start off with some important

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The Durable Power of Attorney – Part 2 (June 2012)

THE DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY – PART 2

Not all Powers of Attorney are of equal quality.  You need a carefully written Power of Attorney which contains special wording for estate planning situations.  A Power of Attorney does not give the attorney-in-fact the power to make gifts unless there is special wording which permits the making of gifts.  For example, suppose that your husband becomes incapacitated and has to go to a nursing home.  When he qualifies for Medicaid to pay the

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The Durable Power of Attorney – Part 1 (May 2012)

Every adult should have a Durable Power of Attorney.  A “Power of Attorney” is a legal document in which one person gives another person the power to act for him, including the power to sign papers for him.  The person who is giving the power is called the “principal.”  The person who is getting the power is called the “Attorney-in-Fact” or “agent.”  “Attorney-in-Fact” doesn’t mean the person who is getting the power has to be a lawyer.  Any adult such as your husband

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Advance Health-Care Directives (Part 2) (August 2011)

ADVANCE HEALTH-CARE DIRECTIVES (PART 2)

In last month’s column I explained that Advance Health-Care Directives have two parts.  One part is a “Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care Decisions.”  It lets you name the person who will make medical decisions for you if you can’t make your own decisions.  The other part is a “Living Will.”  It lets you decide whether you want your life prolonged after you are no longer able to communicate.

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Advance Health-Care Directives (Part 1) (July 2011)

ADVANCE HEALTH-CARE DIRECTIVES (PART 1)

Everyone should have Advance Health-Care Directives.  “Advance Health-Care Directives” are instructions which you are giving now (while you can still make decisions) about how you want doctors and hospitals to take care of you when you can no longer make your own decisions.

Most Advance Health-Care Directive forms have two main parts.  The first part is a Power of Attorney for Health-Care.  The second part is a Living Will.

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Do Not Resuscitate

“DO NOT RESUSCITATE”

With an Advance Health Care Directive, you can make “end of life” decisions.  You can choose to die naturally, without life support.  However, if your heart stops beating, emergency medical personnel will resuscitate you, even if you have an Advance Health Care Directive.

Some people who suffer pain or have a terminal illness would rather not be resuscitated.  To allow people to refuse resuscitation, the “comfort care only” law was created in 1994.  It provides

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