Your Durable General Power of Attorney
Within the Revocable Living Trust Package or Living Estate Package we find and today describe the Durable General Power of Attorney. This document details determination of your Attorney-in-Fact: an entrusted woman or man to manage financial affairs (e.g. signing checks) in the case you are incompetent (unable to do so yourself). Absent this appointment, financial and business affairs can screech to a stop.
Generally one’s spouse would be the first-in-line Attorney-in-Fact. A successor Attorney-in-Fact is designated in the event your first choice is unable to perform. Within this document, you also nominate a Conservator; conservatorship (which entails a broader application) could be required due to permanent or prolonged incapacitation.
The Durable General Power of Attorney [diligently (and… durably) authored by your wills and trusts attorney] is revocable; the rights granted to one’s attorney-in-fact aren’t vested unless you’re “incompetent” subject to the instrument’s restrictive definition.
(Spoiler alert!) Featuring fictional-historical “facts,” fan- favorite film “Forrest Gump” (see it!) is a serendipitous story of a simpleton who (among other acts he’s oblivious to) inadvertently suggest lyrics to Lennon, cracks open Watergate and contributes to coinage of the bumper-sticker adage (or “meme” before there were memes) that reads (in the edited-for-television version)… “It Happens.” It really does and till It does, we count our blessings. Yet, in anticipation of accident or illness that could put one out of commission (but still among the living), the prudent estate planner will have in place the Durable General Power of Attorney.
Image credit: Tom Hanks as Forrest Gump by Jesse Kaplan. Full use rationale at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:TomHanksForrestGump94.jpgave