Dear Ms. Savage:
I went on the internet to download a free generic type “Financial Power of Attorney” form that I could fill out to legally assume the Power of Attorney for financial matters for my ailing 87 year old Father. I was unable to find any such forms for free. The web sites indicated the forms were free, but as you get further into the steps involved it did require a fee. No great surprise there.
I was hoping you (or your staff) could direct me to someplace where I could obtain a basic template for a Financial Power of Attorney form.
Thank you for any assistance you can provide.
Terry Says: I know you are just trying to “simplify” things — but you might be walking into more trouble than you know if you simply try to download a form. First of all, the forms are state specific. Second, the power must be notarized and witnessed by two non-involved people to avoid challenges. And third, if your siblings are around to challenge any decisions you make, you might find yourself facing legal bills later!
So, my true advice would be to see an elder-law attorney (your father would be the actual client) and get everything set up clearly. You would also need a healthcare power of attorney. And perhaps a “living will” – -instructions re his wishes on end-of-life care. (Copies of the latter two should be given immediately to his physician.)
If you don’t know an estate planning or elder law attorney in your area, ask at your bank trust department. Or search the director of Estate Planning attorneys at http://www.search-attorneys.com/.
OK, that’s my real advice — a lot more than you asked for. I actually did a search of “free forms” and found dozens of sites that purport to tell you about free forms to print instantly. I surmise there wouldn’t be that much competition if there weren’t a “catch” somewhere — Why pay for leads if you aren’t going to generate business? I don’t believe in do-it-yourself estate planning and have always said so I think is really important to get things done right — before you create an expensive mess!