File it. Some states require specific kinds of POAs be filed with a court or government office before they can be made valid. For instance, Ohio requires that any POA used to grant grandparents guardianship over a child must be filed with the juvenile court.
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It also requires a POA that transfers real estate to be recorded by the county in which the property is located. Like the property deed for your house or car, a POA grants immense ownership authority and responsibility. It is literally a matter of life and death in the case of a medical POA. And you could find yourself facing financial privation or bankruptcy if you end up with a mishandled or abused durable POA. Therefore, you should choose your agent with the greatest of care to ensure your wishes are carried out to the greatest extent possible.
It is critical to name a person who is both trustworthy and capable to serve as your agent. This person will act with the same legal authority you would have, so any mistakes made by your agent may be very difficult to correct. Even worse, depending on the extent of the powers you grant, there may be dangerous potential for self-dealing.
An agent may have access to your bank accounts, the power to make gifts and transfer your funds, and the ability to sell your property. Your agent can be any competent adult, including a professional such as an attorney, accountant or banker. But your agent may also be a family member such as a spouse, adult child or another relative. Parents who create POAs very commonly choose adult children to serve as their agents. When there is more than one child, parents may struggle with the decision of who to select for the role of the agent. This is not a decision to be taken lightly. Your agent named under your POA acts with your authority, so costly financial mistakes resulting from carelessness or lack of financial understanding may be impossible to fix.
The same is true of acts that create interfamily conflict by favoring some members over others. Children have different characters, skills, and circumstances, and wise selection of children as agents, and of the powers given to them, can avert these dangers. Consider these three key factors when choosing which child you want to give important powers to under a POA:. Trustworthiness: This is the single most important trait of any agent named under a POA.
This includes not just honesty but also reliability in performing tasks that need regular attention, from managing an investment portfolio to paying bills, and diligence in acting according to your wishes. Abilities of each child: Specific abilities of different children may make them best suited to take on particular roles in managing your financial affairs. These may include:. Say one child is a busy financial expert living in a distant city, while another works part-time and lives conveniently close by.
You can have one POA that names the first to manage your investment portfolio and another that names the second to manage your routine daily expenses and pay monthly bills. Multiple agents: More than one agent can be named by a POA, either with authority to act separately or required to act jointly.
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Having two children separately authorized to manage routine items can be a convenience if one becomes unavailable for some reason while requiring two to agree on major actions like selling a house can assure family agreement over major decisions. But naming multiple agents can cause problems if disputes arise between them.
For instance, if two children are required to act jointly in managing an investment account but disagree over how to do so, it may be effectively frozen. So when choosing two children to act jointly as agents under a POA, be sure they have not only the skills for the task but personalities to cooperate. Mistakes — and worse, acts of self-dealing — committed by your agent can be extremely costly. This is especially so with a durable POA that gives broad control over your affairs during a time when you are incapacitated.
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You must be convinced that the agent will follow your instructions, has the ability to do so and will pursue your wishes even over the objections of other family members if need be. The powers are far too important to be granted other than on the merits of trustworthiness and ability. Beware naming a child as your agent if:. Be aware of the dangers of theft and self-dealing created by a POA, even when your agent is your own child. As family circumstances change, periodically review and update the POAs you have created. You can revoke a POA simply by writing a letter that clearly identifies it and states that you revoke it, and delivering the letter to your former agent.
Some states require such a letter to be notarized. Then create a new POA and deliver it to your new choice of agent. A power of attorney can provide you with both convenience and protection by giving a trusted individual the legal authority to act on your behalf and in your interests. Adult children who are both fully trustworthy and capable of accomplishing your wishes may make the best agent under your POA. If you are the child as opposed to the parent in this situation, you face a different set of obstacles. Parents often are reluctant to give others power over their affairs.
Power of Attorney
If you have a parent who is reluctant to do so, try the following ideas to persuade them. Warn of the dangers of not having POAs. If a parent becomes incapacitated and unable to manage his or her own affairs without a POA in place that enables a named agent to step in and do so, then nobody may have the legal right to do so.
It then will be necessary to go to court to seek to be named as conservator or guardian for the parent, a course that may prove costly and slow — and could be contested, causing family conflicts. Suggest customized POAs for their needs. There are many different kinds of POAs, and a person can have more than one. Start small. A parent who benefits from one POA is more likely to then become open to using others.
Ask them to act for the sake of others. Build in safeguards. The creator of a POA may, and should, be concerned about the risk that the agent will abuse the powers received under it. Or have them name two agents and require they agree on major transactions, such as the sale of a home. Join them. Persons of all ages gain valuable protection from having a durable POA, as one can become unexpectedly incapacitated at any stage of life.
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One way to encourage a reluctant parent to create a durable POA is to create one for yourself and ask your parent to join you by doing the same. Consult trusted advisors. Obtaining POAs from your parents can provide valuable benefits to both them and the entire family.
If they are reluctant to grant broad powers at once, you may still be able to convince them to do so gradually. A person must be mentally competent to create a power of attorney. Once a parent loses the capability to manage his or her own affairs it is too late, and court proceedings likely will be necessary.
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There are many good reasons to make a power of attorney, as it ensures that someone will look after your financial affairs if you become incapacitated. You should choose a trusted family member, a proven friend or a reputable and honest professional. Remember, however, that signing a power of attorney that grants broad authority to an agent is very much like signing a blank check — so make sure you choose wisely and understand the laws that apply to the document.
This overview allows us to address appropriately the social issues of our day, which must be considered as a whole, since they are characterized by an ever greater interconnectedness, influencing one another mutually and becoming increasingly a matter of concern for the entire human family. The exposition of the Church's social doctrine is meant to suggest a systematic approach for finding solutions to problems, so that discernment, judgment and decisions will correspond to reality, and so that solidarity and hope will have a greater impact on the complexities of current situations.
These principles, in fact, are interrelated and shed light on one another mutually, insofar as they are an expression of Christian anthropology, fruits of the revelation of God's love for the human person. However, it must not be forgotten that the passing of time and the changing of social circumstances will require a constant updating of the reflections on the various issues raised here, in order to interpret the new signs of the times. The document is presented as an instrument for the moral and pastoral discernment of the complex events that mark our time; as a guide to inspire, at the individual and collective levels, attitudes and choices that will permit all people to look to the future with greater trust and hope ; as an aid for the faithful concerning the Church's teaching in the area of social morality.
From this there can spring new strategies suited to the demands of our time and in keeping with human needs and resources. In short, the text is proposed as an incentive for dialogue with all who sincerely desire the good of mankind. This document is intended first of all for Bishops, who will determine the most suitable methods for making it known and for interpreting it correctly. Priests, men and women religious , and, in general, those responsible for formation will find herein a guide for their teaching and a tool for their pastoral service. Christian communities will be able to look to this document for assistance in analyzing situations objectively, in clarifying them in the light of the unchanging words of the Gospel, in drawing principles for reflection, criteria for judgment and guidelines for action.
This document is proposed also to the brethren of other Churches and Ecclesial Communities, to the followers of other religions, as well as to all people of good will who are committed to serving the common good : may they receive it as the fruit of a universal human experience marked by countless signs of the presence of God's Spirit. It is a treasury of things old and new cf.