Legal Topic#2: How to Protect Your Money When You’re Sick.

 “A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.” – Yogi Berra

Clients ask me what will happen if they or their parents become too ill to handle their investments and pay their bills. Should they add the names of relatives or friends to their accounts and hope for the best? Should they give verbal permission to someone else to sign checks? What happens to their money if their illness becomes permanent?

These are legitimate concerns, especially in the midst of an economy where it has become increasingly more difficult for people to make ends meet.

The answer is to have a properly prepared, duly witnessed and notarized Durable Power of Attorney (POA). “Durable”? What does that mean?

The new changes in Pennsylvania law, and in many other states, encourage such powers to be given in such a way that they do not expire in a given period of time or after a specified illness. The POA remains in effect until it is revoked by the person granting it. This enables the holder of the POA to contine helping pay bills for medical treatment, utilities, taxes and other essentual services.

Now, by law, there is a required notice that must be given to the grantor of the power explaining, in very specific terms, the powers that are being given to the person chosen to serve as an agent. The document is lengthy and contains many specifics that have evolved from generations of litigation. In addition, the recipient must sign a notarized oath upon acknowledging receipt of their responsibilities and duties.

Signed copies of this document are given to financial institutions, advisors, and health providers as the sole legal authority for anyone to act on the grantor’s behalf. I like to think of it as the ultimate, protection document for my client’s money.

For more information submit questions and comments to the comment page above or email paul.holl@comcast.net (215-527-5635).

 

“I’m not as fearful of dying as I am about living my old age like a vegetable”

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I can’t tell you how may times I have heard clients make this statement during estate planning consultations. The documents prepared for such planning I refer to as, “life and asset protection papers”.

          In “Living Will”, Will refers to them as the “trinity of documents” (Living Wills, Powers of Attorney, and Last Wills and Testaments). Can a document prevent me or a relative from living old age like a vegetable? Yes.

          In fact, other than assisted suicide – illegal in most states – a Living Will is the only method by which this can be accomplished.

* How does it work? A Living Will is a written expression of a person’s desired treatment, should he or she become incapable of making medical treatment decisions. Just as a Last Will and Testament names an executor to carry out written directives concerning assets and property after death, the Living Will names a surrogate (agent) to execute directives about medical treatment options.

 * Why is it necessary? Can’t I just tell my spouse or relative what I want? No. Such directives must be in writing to prevent others from ending treatment or prolonging treatment for their personal gain. For example, if the health care surrogate also holds power of attorney it may be financially beneficial to prolong treatment, because the power of attorney expires upon the principal’s death.

* Won’t my doctor just follow the verbal wishes of my family? No. most M.D.s have taken an oath to use all medically appropriate means to keep patients alive as long as possible. Only the written desires of the patient, properly executed, witnessed and notarized can be relied upon by the doctor.

* How do I proceed? Consult an attorney who primarity practices in this area of the law. Do not choose your lawyer from an add on TV or from the directory. Seek advice from someone you know for a referral.

* More information: ask it here, email or call: paul.holl@comcast.net (215-527-5635).

 

 

LIVING WILL? DYING WILL? BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WILL FOR.

THE WILL TO LIVE

The eminent neurologist, Dr. David Boston, looked the attorney general in the eye and said, “I’m dedicated to doing everything within my ability to keep your son alive. I don’t believe in people playing God, even when they do it with their own lives through those ‘living wills’ you lawyers like to force upon us. I refer to them as ‘dying wills’, because that is what more closely represents their actual intent.”

This an excerpt from my new novel, “Living Will” about an unscrupulous, young lawyer who was willing to exploit his firm’s elderly clients by having them sign the “trinity” of documents; a living will, a power of attorney and a last will and testament. Each agreement designates a person other than its signer to make decisions about their care, financial affairs or death, without their knowledge or consent. So ask yourself this question. What advantages are there in…

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Amazon acceptance and listing

Paul Holl-photo-2d

THE WILL TO LIVE

Hello brothers and friends. On May first Amazon listed “Living Will” on its site under “Amazon Books”. I’m still working on getting it in a “for sale” posture but if you’d like to take an early peek, check “Living Will by Paul Edwin Holl,Esq” on the Amazon book website. The printed books should be arriving within the month and I’ll see that you get yours. Thanks, Paul.

View original post

Amazon acceptance and listing

Hello brothers and friends. On May first Amazon listed “Living Will” on its site under “Amazon Books”. I’m still working on getting it in a “for sale” posture but if you’d like to take an early peek, check “Living Will by Paul Edwin Holl,Esq” on the Amazon book website. The printed books should be arriving within the month and I’ll see that you get yours. Thanks, Paul.

LIVING WILL? DYING WILL? BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WILL FOR.

The eminent neurologist, Dr. David Boston, looked the attorney general in the eye and said, “I’m dedicated to doing everything within my ability to keep your son alive. I don’t believe in people playing God, even when they do it with their own lives through those ‘living wills’ you lawyers like to force upon us. I refer to them as ‘dying wills’, because that is what more closely represents their actual intent.”

This an excerpt from my new novel, “Living Will” about an unscrupulous, young lawyer who was willing to exploit his firm’s elderly clients by having them sign the “trinity” of documents; a living will, a power of attorney and a last will and testament. Each agreement designates a person other than its signer to make decisions about their care, financial affairs or death, without their knowledge or consent. So ask yourself this question. What advantages are there in being the health care surrogate, holder of the power of attorney or executor of the will of another? Here is a hypothetical, but common, situation:

Bob, in his will, names his spouse as executrix of his estate and his son as the alternate executor.  He is advised to name someone younger than the spouse to be the health care surrogate of his living will and to hold the power of attorney over his non-health related responsibilities. He names his daughter to serve as both. Following his wife’s death, Bob has a stroke and ends up on life support. How does the daughter benefit from keeping Bob on life support indefinitely? How would the son benefit by having it removed?                                                   TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK. LEAVE A COMMENT AT   Amazon.com/will to live thrillers/paul holl