Not all Powers of Attorney for Property are created equal. This may come as a surprise to some people, we hear “Power of Attorney for Property” and we think of a standardized form, but the language contained in these documents can differ from each other. While a basic form may give authority to pay bills and manage finances, it may not be enough, especially for someone diagnosed with Alzheimer’s who may need to protect their assets from long-term care costs.
In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson, Southern Illinois Elder Law attorney, discusses another topic covered in The Alzheimer’s Guide: Practical Advice for Families, Caregivers and Professionals and offers advice for anyone with Alzheimer’s to have their Power of Attorney for Property reviewed by an Elder Law Attorney while they are still sufficiently competent to sign a new one.
Alzheimer’s and Powers of Attorney for Property: Why the document’s specific language matters so much
Hi, I’m Wes Coulson and this is your Elder Law Minute. This is another in our series of videos on things that we cover in The Alzheimer’s Guide.
What I want to focus on today is the need for anyone with Alzheimer’s to have their Power of Attorney for Property reviewed by a good Elder Law Attorney while they’re still sufficiently competent to sign a new one. Here’s why:
Not all Powers of Attorney for Property are created equal.
The basic form gives authority to do things that fall under the heading of “pay my bills and manage my finances.” But, many don’t give the authority to do things that fall under the heading of “move my life savings out of harms’ way to protect them from being lost to future nursing home costs.”
So, what happens if you don’t have that extra language in the power of attorney? Well, at that point your agent can’t help protect your life savings. So, what can be done? Well, in Illinois at least there’s a remedy. You can go to court for guardianship proceedings and ask the court’s approval. It’s not automatic and it’s an expensive process. In Missouri, unfortunately, you get the very bad result of not being able to do the planning at all because Missouri does not allow conservators in court proceedings to engage in asset preservation planning.
So, again, get those powers of attorney reviewed an updated. Thanks.
For more information on Alzheimer’s Guide Topics, visit these articles:
- Alzheimer’s and Driving: Why having “the conversation” can be a bad idea
- Alzheimer’s and the Five-Year Look-Back Period: The time to plan is NOW!
- Can Someone Diagnosed With Alzheimer’s Still Execute Legal Documents?
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Dent-Coulson Elder Law is dedicated to providing families in the St. Louis area with their Elder Law needs. Our practice areas include Asset Preservation Planning, Veterans Benefits, Medicaid Eligibility, Alzheimer’s Planning, Special Needs Planning, Estate Planning and more. We understand the financial challenges you may face as you and your loved ones grow older. At Dent-Coulson Elder Law, our clients’ well-being is our number one priority. For immediate help, call (877)995-6876 or Contact Us and we will get in touch as soon as possible.