As Texas residents make plans for their futures, they often have to ponder some difficult scenarios. They have to think about the possibility of no longer being able to take care of themselves independently or to make competent decisions on their own. Determining who will provide that care and make those decisions is a major component of the estate planning process. Certainly, everyone would like to think they would choose someone who would look out for their best interests. Unfortunately, that is not the case in every circumstance.
Recently, a financial adviser shared the story of a woman who was devastated to learn that a person she had trusted had depleted her savings. The woman had granted her son Power of Attorney in the past. This gave her son the authority to handle her finances should illness or injury prevent the woman from taking care of things herself. The woman was preparing to move into an assisted living facility when she discovered that more than $350,000 was gone from her savings account.
Apparently, the son had experienced financial problems himself and used his mother’s money to meet the payroll for his business. He never paid the money back, leaving his mother unable to afford the costs of the assisted living facility. Experts stress the importance of naming the appropriate people to manage one’s finances in the future while creating an estate plan. Assess a person’s trustworthiness and past financial troubles in addition to how long the relationship has existed.
Estate planning is a complex process and is unique to every individual. A Texas attorney familiar with estate administration can provide guidance throughout the entire process. A respected lawyer will help clients develop an estate plan that will protect their interests both now and in years to come.