May 16, 2017

It is now all too common that family disputes erupt over issues of capacity and managing parents’ property and personal care.  As society ages and people live longer, more disputes and litigation will inevitably and regrettably arise (and already do).  Clients come to lawyers seeking advice.  Common questions included: What are the duties and responsibilities of attorneys for property and care?  Am I entitled to compensation and, if so, how much?  Do I have to consult with my siblings about financial and health care decisions?  What happens if the family cannot agree?  Do I have to consult with the incapable persons about my decisions?  Can I gift myself or my family money?  Can I decide that a parent should move into a nursing home and who do I have to ask or tell?  The questions are often as diverse (and complex) as the clients that walk through a lawyer’s door.

This paper is a general introduction to powers of attorney.  It will briefly discuss what: a) a power of attorney is; b) the requirements to execute a valid power of attorney; c) the laws that pertain to powers of attorney; d) an individual’s capacity to manage his or her property and personal care; and finally e) provide a general, non-exhaustive checklist of the obligations an attorney faces and steps he or she should take.

This paper also sets out the general duties of an attorney for property or personal care, the attorney’s liabilities and entitlement to compensation.

Read the full paper here.