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A living trust is an estate planning tool that functions like a Last Will by giving directions on how your assets will be handled upon your death. It has an advantage over a Will because it prevents probate progression upon your death. However, a living trust is not sufficient in ensuring your estate planning needs are met and your wishes honored. In most cases, you still retain the power to decide over your affairs even if it is transferred to a trustee. You can even be your own trustee or get a corporate trustee. A living trust will just effectuate the changes in your property’s titles. Since you still control your affairs in various ways, hiring a P.O.A to decide over your affairs in the event you are incapable of deciding for yourself is very crucial. This is because a living trust is limited in various ways and does not cover some aspects of your estate plan. Some areas are as follows:

A living trust does not cover the following;

Decisions regarding your medication

A living trust does not cover your personal affairs such as health care. It also does not assist you to be able to qualify for Medicaid which requires guidance from an estate planning attorney or elderly law attorney.

Life insurance policies.

This is an estate planning tool whose services cannot be substituted by a living trust. One of the services is the ability to create an instant inheritance for your beneficiaries in terms of money when you pass away.

Retirement accounts.

A living trust only takes care of some specific type of assets in your estate plan. Some assets such as retirement accounts are not covered in a living trust. Digital assets are also very difficult to be incorporated into a living trust tool. A P.O.A settles this problem by appointing a proxy who keeps their eyes on every affair within their powers granted to them.

Reasons for a P.O.A when having a living trust;

A power of attorney more so the durable power of attorney which is mostly used in a trust ensures that your agent manages your assets that are not in your living trust as your trustee has the authority to only manage the assets that are in the living trust.

Many financial matters take place outside of the trust for instance you cannot file personal income tax returns for you and cannot also transfer assets to your trust but your agent under the power of attorney can make the transfer .there are some arranged matters that require the power of attorney to ensure that the trustee can perform the duties listed in the trust as per your wishes.

A durable power of attorney may also be required in the event when both the grantor and the trustee are incapacitated hence the agent will have the authority to make decisions for you.

A power of attorney also ensures that there is a legal power to ensure that your wishes are realized this is mainly in regards to your health decisions. the power of attorney also covers extra needs during your lifetime as the living trust provides for your beneficiaries after your demise.

Your agent may even change your trust for you when you are incapacitated for instance closing your trust for you when you need money from your assets during an emergency. Your agent can also transfer some of your assets into your trust that had been left out.

FAQS

Can your trustee execute a power of attorney?

 Your trustee cannot grant the power of attorney to a third party. Once the assets are entrusted to them, they cannot delegate this trusteeship by granting a power of attorney relating to the authority of the trustee.

Can a POA change an irrevocable trust?

A POA agent is granted authority to make decisions over your affairs. In the event where changes need to be done in a trust deed, and you are incapable of effectuating the changes, your POA proxy does it for you.

Does a POA override a trust?

A POA overrides a trust as the agent is given the authority to manage duties related to both your estate and trust on your behalf.

Can a POA create an irrevocable trust?

 Your agent can create one only when you give your consent on the matter.

Can you hire only one individual to be both your agent and trustee?

It is advisable that you hire different individuals to work together to ensure that all your needs in both the living trust and the POA are well executed.

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