Power of Attorney

“My unmarried brother’s mental state is declining.  Does he need a Power of Attorney since everything is currently in his name?”

Answer:  Having a Power of Attorney is essential for protecting your loved ones.  A Health Care Power of Attorney would allow your brother to designate a person that he trusts to make his medical decisions for him, should he be unable to make them himself.  Also, a General Power of Attorney will allow your brother to designate a person to direct his financial decisions such as investing in real estate, entering contracts, and filing tax returns should your brother be unable to do so.  Both of these documents will protect your brother if his mental state declines to the point that he is unable to make his own decisions.  Both documents are essential to protecting your brother and giving you peace of mind throughout this process.  In addition, your brother may want to also consider consulting with an estate planning attorney to evaluate whether a revocable living trust should be prepared.  The preparation of a revocable living trust will, among other things, allow him to manage his assets and pass his estate, during his life and following his death, with a minimum of delays, taxes, costs and fees.