Menu ${}${SEMFirmNameAlt}${}${SEMFirmNameAlt}
Practice Areas
Let's Get Started!

What giving someone power of attorney really means

While most people regard the purpose of an estate plan as providing clear directives for how assets and possessions should be handled after one's death, a comprehensive plan must also account for the unknowns and unexpected events that may arise during one's lifetime. For example, it's important to consider who would take care of one's financial obligations in the event that he or she was involved in a serious accident and became incapacitated or disabled.

To help prepare for the unexpected, an individual would be wise to provide one or more individuals with power of attorney. In the event an individual becomes incapacitated, due to impairments that occur from an injury or as part of the aging process, the individual who has been given power of attorney can make important decisions on one's behalf.

For example, an individual given power of attorney rights can make decisions and act on one's behalf with regard to financial matters, charitable donations and gifts and in healthcare decisions. Given the important role that an individual given power of attorney must play and fulfill, it's imperative that he or she is trustworthy and, at all times, acts in good faith.

To help ensure that an individual in this role fulfills his or her fiduciary duties, it's wise to include language that requires the accurate keeping of records and restricts or limits the giving of monetary or other gifts. At times, family members may challenge the decisions made by an individual who has been given power of attorney and may even take legal action to have this power taken away. There are, however, steps that an individual can take to safeguard against this type of potential legal action.

Individuals who wish to discuss their estate planning goals with an attorney would be wise to also address matters related to long-term care planning and designating a power of attorney.

Source:, "What Is Power Of Attorney?," Oct. 13, 2015

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Serving businesses and individuals throughout Massachusetts

Waltham Office
375 Totten Pond Road
Suite 200
Waltham, MA 02451

Toll Free: 888-759-5109
Waltham Law Office Map

Braintree Office
25 Braintree Hill Office Park
Suite 406
Braintree, MA 02184

Toll Free: 888-759-5109
Phone: 617-523-1555
Braintree Law Office Map

Cranston Office
200 Midway Road
Suite 159
Cranston, RI 02920

Toll Free: 888-759-5109
Cranston Law Office Map

Hyannis Office
1330 Phinney’s Lane
Hyannis, MA 02601

Toll Free: 888-759-5109
Hyannis Law Office Map

Norwood Office
520 Providence Highway
Suite 10
Norwood, MA 02062

Toll Free: 888-759-5109
Norwood Law Office Map

Westborough Office
276 Turnpike Road
Suite 228
Westborough, MA 01581

Westborough Law Office Map

Woburn Office
444 Washington Street
Suite 203
Woburn, MA 01801

Woburn Law Office Map