Know About Financial Power Of Attorney

Four Ways To Keep Your Choice Of A Financial Power Of Attorney From Being Challenged

If you believe there’s someone that likely to challenge your durable power of attorney for finance, which is sometimes known as a financial power of attorney, or you believe someone will claim you were intimidated into signing the document, you’ll be glad to know that there are steps to keep these issues at bay.

How To Stave Off Contests For The Financial Power Of Attorney

1 – Talk To A Lawyer

Consider having a lawyer go over the power of attorney for finances that you’ve drawn up for yourself. All your questions can be answered by a knowledgeable estate planning attorney, whatever estate planning documents you have. For instance, you suspect there could be contests to your healthcare wishes, trust or will, an attorney can address these issues.

The point is this: an attorney can lay to rest any of your fears by checking that your estate plan will be held up in court should a stubborn relative or two want to contest it. And, if the need arises, your lawyer can testify as to what your mental state was at the time you drew it up or came in to talk to him/her about it.

2 – Have Witnesses Watch You Sign The Document

Some states require that you sign legal documents in front of witnesses. However, if your state doesn’t, you should still do it. After they watch you sign the document, have them sign a statement that states you knew full well what document you were signing and that you did so under your own authority.  If somebody decides to challenge your competency, these witness statements are strong evidence in court that you knew what you were doing when you signed it.

3 – Have Your Doctor Write A Statement

It would also be a good idea to get your doctor to provide a statement about the time you sign the durable power of attorney. He/she should write, date and sign the statement, ensuring that you’ve been seen recently and he/she believes you are in your right mind. Make sure to attach it to the power of attorney document.  Thus, if someone contests it, the agent that produces your statement can show this document that you knew what you were doing.

4 – Create A Videotape Statement

You can also create yourself a videotape statement, which means you will be on camera describing your intent to have a durable power of attorney. While this is the last resort step, it further reduces the chance of someone challenging your competency. If you do create one, keep it with the power of attorney document you have drafted up.

There is a possibility that a videotape could be used against you. The person who is challenging the document may try to find quirks in your language and behavior; evidence that you weren’t competent at the time you drew up and signed the document.