Sometimes, people wait until the last minute to do things. Making a Living Trust is no exception. In fact, sometimes states Brian D. Lerner from the Los Angeles Estate Planning Law Firm, people are almost on their deathbed before they decide it is time to get the Living Trust completed. Sometimes, they are coherent and have mental capacity, but cannot properly sign documents because they are physically unable. What can be done the Los Angeles Estate Planning Law Firm?
First of all, it is possible to designate through a power of attorney for somebody to have the authority to sign on behalf of the person who cannot sign on his or her own behalf. Brian D. Lerner, Los Angeles Estate Planning Law Firm states that while family members can certainly have the authority to act as an agent under the durable power of attorney, it is clear that there may be issues of capacity of the person who cannot sign and there are issues of duress and undue influence from persons who get part of the Estate. Thus, cautions the Los Angeles Estate Planning Law Firm, it would be best to have somebody who does not get anything from the Estate be the person who has the authority to sign on behalf of the person who cannot sign himself.
There are even provisions specified in the IRS Code to allow this as well as the Health and Safety Code for giving or donating or refusing to donate organs. The Los Angeles Estate Planning Law Firm states that in that case, there must be two witnesses and for sure one of them must not get anything from the Estate.Otherwise, states Brian Lerner, it may look like there is undue influence.
Brian D. Lerner, Los Angeles Estate Planning Law Firm states that there are really two ways of obtaining a signature when the person who is supposed to sign is unable due to injury or infirmity. One way that the Los Angeles Estate Planning Law Firm states is to obtain just an ‘x’ from the person who cannot sign. However, Brian D. Lerner explains, it is more complicated than simply obtaining an ‘x’. There needs to be 2 witnesses when the person signs the ‘x’ and on most documents, the witnesses should sign under penalty of perjury. Many documents states the Los Angeles Estate Planning Law Firm need to also have the document notarized.
Naturally, whether the person who is sick and/or injured cannot sign normally the document, Brian D. Lerner from the Los Angeles Estate Planning Law Firm states that the person signing with the ‘X’, must have the capacity to sign and must understand what he is signing. The other way is to prepare a Specific Durable Power of Attorney. This Durable Power of Attorney will be for the specific purpose of allowing an agent to sign the name of the person who cannot sign himself. Therefore, while the signature will not look like the normal signature of the person who is unable to sign, the durable power of attorney is the device upon which another person (the agent) is able to sign the actual name of the infirm person. Brian Lerner from the Los Angeles Estate Planning Law Firm states that before you can use the agent to write his name, you should get the person to sign the Durable power of attorney with an ‘x’, two witnesses and the notarization.
Of course, states Brian Lerner from the Los Angeles Estate Planning Law Firm, you should not wait until you are on your deathbed to take care of these matters. There may always be the question of capacity of the person signing as well as undue influence. The Los Angeles Estate Planning Law Firm gives an example where the client could barely talk and the brother was ‘talking for him’, but the brother was the biggest beneficiary of the Trust and somehow stated that the infirm person did not want to give the estate to anybody else because they lived far away. After the Los Angeles Estate Planning Law Firm used an independent person to verify the reality of the situation, it turns out the ‘brother’ was trying to get everything for himself. Clearly greedy. Clearly illegal and clearly undue influence. Therefore, Brian Lerner from the Los Angeles Estate Planning Law Firm urges you to get your Estate Planning done early while your healthy and in good condition.