Avoiding Potential Pitfalls of the Durable Power of Attorney

Crossland, Hugh J.; Fish, S. Rob; Rupert, Timothy J.
October 1997
Journal of Financial Planning;Oct97, Vol. 10 Issue 5, p92
Academic Journal
The article examines the basic workings of the durable power of attorney and explains some of the potential pitfalls experienced. Many financial planners suggest that their clients consider a durable power of attorney as a means of transferring the authority to make decisions. To overcome these drawbacks, several alternatives to guardianships often are used, including joint ownership, revocable trusts and the durable power of attorney. Despite the advantages offered by the durable power of attorney, it is not without its problems. An understanding of these problems is vital for financial planners in order to ensure that a client's wishes actually will be carried out. The durable power of attorney can be a powerful tool in long-term planning for a client. However, as the previous discussion illustrates, several pitfalls exist that may negate many of the intended benefits of the durable power. Avoiding these pitfalls will help financial planners ensure that a client's long-term planning has the intended effects.


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