Powers of Attorney

Powers of Attorney are tricky things. Your generic Power of Attorney, at least as the various software packages present it, grants tremendous power over property. If durable, it lasts until revoked by the granter.

But say you want to grant authority in a narrow area, such as authority to talk with specific firms on specific subjects? Or firms in a given field of endeavor? Your generic Power of Attorney is far too broad, you need a Specific Power of Attorney.

In our case we needed a Power of Attorney for my mother, authorizing my sister to act on her behalf in conversations with her Long-Term Care Insurance Companies, and to enter into conversations and contracts with In-Home Care Providers and Long-Term Care Facilities; having an existing Trust instrument a generic Power of Attorney would overturn all the already established structures and be a right bloody pain. Working with the legal software we had kicking around, well, nothing suitable could be created, or so it initially seemed...


By creating a Specific Power of Attorney, and selecting to not grant power over anything the software suggested, it was possible to create a document that had all the proper phrasing minus the actual area of authority, and then export the document to a text file, an .rtf file in this case. Opening the file in the word processor of our choice, we then went in and specified that the authority granted was to negotiate and enter into contracts with 1) Mom's Long-Term Care Insurance Companies, and 2) prospective In-Home Care Providers and Long-Term Care Facilities. Save the file with changes, print it out and double check, then print it out as a two-sided document, and we were ready to get it notarized and see if this meets the needs of the various entities who had been reluctant to talk with my sister.

This should work; it is a Durable Specific Power of Attorney with 2 clearly specified closely related task specific areas of authority, and I don't think they'd have a leg to stand on to claim it doesn't cover what we want my sister to deal with.

We do need to revise the existing Trust instrument, because dad created it and mom wants to change how things get distributed after she dies, seeing how dad died back in 2001 and his wishes are decidedly irrelevant at this time; mom wants to do things differently, that is her right. And we need to do this while there is no question about her competence. But until that is done we don't want to create anything which invalidates the Trust instrument, which a General Durable Power of Attorney would have done.

So, being a minor computer geek came in handy, being able to figure out how to tweak things around using different software packages to get the document desired.

And that's what we did yesterday and today, yesterday the tweakage, today the notarizing.


Post this Puppy!

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