Planning for Life

6 Rules of Thumb in Choosing Your Agent Under Your Durable Power of Attorney

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on June 25, 2019

By Harry S. Margolis

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Our clients often have to make difficult choices when deciding who to name as their agent or agents on their durable powers of attorney. Married clients usually name each other and, if they have children, one or more as alternates. Unmarried clients or married clients whose spouses have dementia usually name children, if they have them.

But what if you don't have children, or you don't have children who you can trust with this responsibility? Or what if you have several children, how do you choose among them? Will picking one child over another create resentment and cause friction among your children? On the other hand, would naming several create the opportunity for continuing conflicts.

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Topics: durable power of attorney

If You Live Part of the Year Out-of-State, Do You Need Estate Planning Documents for that State Too?

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on September 4, 2018

By Harry S. Margolis

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If you spend the summer in New Hampshire, or somewhere else cool, or the winter in Florida, or somewhere else warm, do you need separate estate planning documents for each state?

Legally, no. Practically, perhaps.

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Topics: durable power of attorney, will, health care proxy

Why Would Anyone Do Estate Planning? A Lot of Bang for the Buck

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on July 24, 2018

By Harry S. Margolis

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Why would anyone want to partake in estate planning? It takes time. You have to deal with lawyers. And to talk about your death or disability. It may bring up contentious issues with a spouse or children. It's not urgent, since nothing is likely to happen to you tomorrow, or even in the next few years. It costs money.

So, why should you take time out of your busy life to commit to estate planning? The answer is that there are few other simple steps you can take that will could have as great an impact on your family's welfare. The cost-benefit trade off is tremendous.

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Topics: durable power of attorney, will, HIPAA release, health care proxy, revocable trust

How Many Agents Do You Have?

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on January 24, 2018

By Harry S. Margolis

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You may have a lot of people who you have appointed to act for you at various times who are your agents. And you may be an agent for a number of other people without thinking about it, or perhaps without even knowing about your role.

Agency relationships can be created in a myriad of ways. Some come about formally via specific nomination in an estate planning document, while others result from a position of trust and authority created in less formal ways. Here are some of the agents you may have or roles in which you may serve:

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Topics: durable power of attorney, trustee, proxy

What Do You Do When the Bank is Unreasonable?

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on January 2, 2018

By Harry S. Margolis

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We advise our clients to execute durable powers of attorney to make sure that someone can step in and take care of their legal and financial matters in the event of incapacity. Sometimes, individuals use these documents to take advantage of seniors and on very rare occasions banks are held responsible when that happens. As a result, they are often reluctant to accept durable powers of attorney for their intended purpose. This can cause real problems and costs for families.

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Topics: durable power of attorney

What does it mean to be an agent under a durable power of attorney in Massachusetts?

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on September 14, 2016

By Harry S. Margolis

Have you been asked to serve as an agent (or "attorney-in-fact" to use the technical term) under a durable power of attorney in Massachusetts, but you're not totally sure about your duties and responsibilities? Then you're not alone.  Here's a primer.

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Topics: trusts, guardianship, Estate Planning, durable power of attorney

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