Along with a properly drafted Will, a well-rounded estate plan includes a Power of Attorney for Property and a Power of Attorney for Personal Care. The process of drafting these documents requires that you consider a number of questions. For example, you must consider who you trust to act as your estate trustee when you pass and who you trust to act as your attorney for property and attorney for personal care while you are living.
Recently, the news of hockey player Jack Johnson’s financial troubles broke, illustrating the importance of naming someone trustworthy as your attorney for property. Jack, who it has been said made more than $18 million in his NHL career, named his parents as his attorneys for property. In October, Jack filed for bankruptcy. According to an article in the Toronto Star, “Johnson’s parents allegedly each bought a car, spent more than $800,000 on upgrades to the Manhattan Beach property and travelled, often to see him play NHL games for the Kings and Blue Jackets.”
Unless his or her powers are limited, your attorney for property can do anything you can do with your property except make or revoke your Will. Regardless of the fact that your attorney for property has a duty to act in your best interest, it is important that you think carefully about who to name as your attorney for property. Your attorney for property should be someone who, among other things, shows integrity and sound judgment. Sometimes a class of individual which may seem like an obvious choice (e.g. a parent or a sibling) might not be the best choice for you.
For more information on Jack Johnson’s situation, visit this article from The Columbus Dispatch.