The air is still and heavy. The hum of traffic outside buzzed softly. A young, twenty-something, brother and sister sit in black decking chairs at the law office. Their Dad had just passed away and they were the only heirs. They were concerned though, because Grandma had moved into the house (“temporarily”) and all of Dad’s stuff was being moved out. “But we have this, so we have control, right?” With a dramatic flourish, a document, signed, sealed and notarized, is presented. It is a Power of Attorney, naming brother and sister, jointly. The attorney sighed. “A power of attorney ends the moment the person who made it dies.”
It wasn’t what they wanted to hear. Oh sure, they still had rights, but it would take more time and money. And they had nothing to show Grandma that “proved” they had the right until they went to court.
If you care – even the least bit – about what happens to your family members and their relationships when you are gone, do some proper estate planning now.