Drop Everything! Where’s the POA??

stickman-310590_1280You wrote a will, completed a power of attorney (POA), and you review yearly to see if updates need to be made.  You are doing well and your family will be in good shape if something happens to you.

Or will they be?

Just as important as having those documents, is making sure your executor and agents can find them when they are needed.  If you’re in the hospital and your POA is needed to conduct important business for you, would your agent be able to find it?  Maybe you even gave your agent a copy of it and they have it in their possession – do they know where they put it?  Can they lay their hands on it quickly when they need it?

It may be years after you make these documents before they are needed.   Remembering where you put a piece of paper years ago can be a lot harder than you think.  Especially if the house has been rearranged, new furniture bought, maybe even a move . . . and then no one knows where the folder with mom’s POA has wound up.

I recommend a once a year document drill.  Pick a day – maybe your birthday – to lay hands on your will and other documents.  And if you have given copies to other family members, call them up and ask them to lay hands on the papers.  Simply reciting where they are kept is not enough. Tell them to go physically pick them up and look at them, then report back to you that they’ve done it.

They will thank you when the time comes to use those documents.