Hello everyone. This is Robert Mansour and today, I wanted to talk to you about a special tool in the toolbox, the legal toolbox, known as the estate plan. I want to talk to you about something called a durable power of attorney. The legal toolbox is called the estate plan and it has many different tools in it and one of those tools is the durable power of attorney.
The person in charge of the durable power of attorney is somebody called your agent. It's not your trustee, it's not your executor, but somebody called your agent. Now, it might be the same person that you've designated for another job like trustee or executor but the hat that they are going to wear is the hat of the agent. Sometimes they use the term this person is my attorney in fact. I'm not a big fan of the words attorney in fact because people sometimes think that it actually has to be a lawyer. It does not have to be a lawyer. Hence, I like to use the term agent.
This person that you designate in your power of attorney can act as your alter ego in many, many different circumstances. People say, "But wait a minute, that sounds like my trustee. Aren't they acting on my behalf as well?" The answer is yes, they are acting on your behalf but only with respect to living trust matters. There's a lot of things in our life that had nothing to do with living trust. For example, this person can act on your behalf by talking to your credit card companies, by dealing with your human resources department at your job, by talking to your attorney or CPA, a variety of situations where you might need somebody to act on your behalf yet have nothing to do with your living trust.
Now, some people might say, "Well, that sounds like the person who makes health care decisions." That is a different tool in the toolbox. That's called an advance health care directive. That person is also called your agent but they are making decisions on health care matters. The way I explained it to clients is the person with power of attorney, the person as your agent under power attorney acts on your behalf with all matters that do not directly deal with health care and do not directly deal with your living trust. Essentially, that person is going to be acting under the durable power of attorney. That's one of the legal tools in the legal toolbox known as the estate plan.
I hope you found this video helpful. If you need any assistance with your estate plan, please do not hesitate to contact my office. Thank you very much.
Hi. My name is Robert Mansour. A little while ago my son turned 18 years old. Believe it or not, he's an adult. Technically speaking, legally speaking, he's an adult. I don't think he's an adult, but you know what I'm talking about.
What I had him do was I prepared a health care directive for him and a durable power of attorney. Because he is an adult, if anything happens to him, my wife and I do not have automatic access to his medical records. We do not have automatic access to his college records and his grades and all of the other things that we might need to help him with. What if we needed to handle some of his financial affairs or we needed to make health care decisions for him and he cannot? Because he is an adult, we can't act like his parents any more and just make decisions for him. We're not technically his parental guardians any more. He is an adult.
What I had him do was prepare a durable power of attorney, where he allows my wife and I, his mother and I, to have the authority to help him with financial matters. We also signed a health care directive so that we can have the authority to handle health care matters for him if he cannot. When you turn 18 years of age, it is very important to consider, at the very least, a durable power of attorney, an advance health care directive.
Those 2 things and you name the people that you love and trust, perhaps your parents, one or both of them or whatever you want to do. Remember because you're 18, you're technically an adult and people do not have the legal authority to do things on your behalf unless you give it to them. Once again, 18 years old, durable power of attorney, advance health care directive. If you have any questions about this, please visit my website at mansourlaw.com for much more information. Thank you very much.
A Durable Power of Attorney allows someone called your "Agent" or your "Attorney in Fact" to act on your behalf in a variety of situations. While a very powerful document, you should make sure it clearly spells out what your agent is entitled to do. Also, keep in mind that a Durable Power of Attorney expires when the person dies. You cannot keep using a Durable Power of Attorney once a person has passed away.
While the trustee handles all the trust assets, the agent under the Durable Power of Attorney basically handles the many other facets of a person's life.
If you'd like to learn more, please feel free to contact my office for a consultation.