Most of us have an “Aunt Gertrude” who needs someone to help look after them. Perhaps she’s a little less spry than she used to be. Perhaps she is less clear than she used to be when you talk to her. You wouldn’t want her to have to live in a nursing home, but you can’t have her living in your home. So what do we do?
That’s where Aunt Gertrude’s niece Milly comes in. Milly is willing to help, and will do anything she can to help dear Aunt Gertrude. And when we’re at the Christmas dinner with the family, and we hear “Milly took Aunt Gertrude to the attorney, and now she is helping her. She’s the ‘power of attorney’ for Aunt Gertrude.”
We think, “Awww. Isn’t that nice? We’re so happy that someone stepped up to help.” And we move on to the next topic, or the next course of our meal.
But not Aunt Gertrude. Her life is now in the hands of someone else. She can’t outrun Milly, she can’t out-think Milly. She is completely dependent on Milly’s good character. There are a few problems with this scenario.
First, what if Milly has ulterior motives? What if she doesn’t have Aunt Gertrude’s best interests at heart? Second, where is the oversight? Who is watching Milly? No one.
At Mateya Law Firm, we have worked with attorneys, bankers, financial investors, and accountants around the state to create a power of attorney document which gives the attorney-in-fact (the name of the person who is appointed through a power of attorney document) all the powers that are available under the Pennsylvania Statutes, but also has an automatic oversight clause, written directly into the document. We can help you strengthen your power of attorney document. Contact us. We can help.
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