Anyone with elderly parents or approaching their own estate planning should be prepared to designate with a primary agent and a secondary agent in a power of attorney document.

This means that if the primary agent is out of town or is otherwise unavailable to step in, then the decision process for addressing immediate issues doesn’t get bogged down and these powers can transfer to another person. By working in advance to help elderly parents establish the necessary power of attorney documents, and following through on other estate planning strategies, you can help your parents avoid having to go to court to have their estate set up for conservatorship.

This can be an expensive, complicated and lengthy process. Depending on the goals that you have for your power of attorney, your estate planning lawyer can help you advise about the type of document most aligned with your needs.

A power of attorney can be general or can be specific, authorizing someone to carry out only task or a set of tasks. When setting up a general power of attorney, the principal still retains his or her right to manage health care or finances even though the POA document goes into effect as soon as it is signed and witnessed. It is important to make sure that the power of attorney document meets the necessary grounds to be legally valid in California. Schedule a consultation with a lawyer familiar with Pasadena estate planning today to learn more.

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