2008-02-21, 4:04 p.m.
Turns out there’s not a damn thing you can do to lock up a Power of Attorney and protect it forever and a day. Well, there is one thing, but it’s ugly. The timing has to be good too. Not exquisite, just sufficient.
What you do is revoke all prior PoA’s (immediate, durable, springing – all of them) that have the person(s) you’re worried about listed as a grantee. You then do a springing PoA that pretty much grants full authorities but is dependent on getting the property holder declared incompetent to carry out their own affairs. You can also do up an immediate PoA that grants what ever limited authorities are deemed necessary. In both of these new PoA’s you grant the authority to only those persons you completely, thoroughly trust.
Then you go on your merry little way. For a few months. Then, you talk to the doctor treating the property holder and get their opinion on whether or not that person is competent to handle their rather complicated financial affairs. Once they sign that affidavit of incompetence, the springing PoA is in effect and the property holder can no longer revoke the authority. Because they’ve been declared incompetent. Anyone that would like to have a share of the PoA must then sue for it. That would be the ugly part.
But I think we can avoid that.
We got some very sound advice from Bob’s estate attorney last night. Our arrival there looked like an episode of the Keystone Cops. It started around 3 when I noticed my cell phone battery was about dead. Again. (I’m starting to think there’s areas of our building here at work where we get no signal. Then my phone starts to search for said signal and consumes battery power at some astronomical rate. It’s that, or I’m on my 3rd piece of crap battery in a row.)
Anyhow. Cell phone questionable. I left work at about 3:40, thinking I’d stop home and pick up the paperwork I thought I needed, grab Cindy and head downtown. Right to the heart of the city, where we rarely venture. I was leaving a solid 45 minutes for us to get downtown, find parking and wander back to the building where our appointment was. As I’m toodling down the road, headed for the expressway, my (questionable) cell phone rings. It’s Cindy, wondering where I am. I told her I was on ridge Road, headed home. Her response? “Home – why? Our appointment is at 4!!!!” (I probably didn’t use enough exclamation points) Heh. Oops. Lucky for me, the quickest way for me to get where I needed to be was the direction I was going. I even had a reasonable shot at making it on time. Only problem? I knew where I was going, having been there twice. Cindy had no clue and was already on the road. Well, she knew she needed to be at 28 E. Main St., but where to park? What did the building look like? What floor?
As I was pretty surely making my way to the parking garage nearest our destination, I was trying to guide Cindy in using as few words as possible, keeping our phone conversations brief. Well, after one illegal left turn and almost running over a cop while on her phone (I heard the “holy shit!”), she made it to the parking garage intact and only a minute or two late. Not bad really.
Talking to the lawyer was well worth the time. He gave us some options, one of which we had considered before, but shied away from. We’re now more sure of where we stand legally, morally and ethically.
We have a plan with which to go forward. (Avoiding that whole not ending on a preposition thing is tough!) I took a cursory look at things last night. Cindy and I talked over the options. We’ll approach The Bob and float the idea this weekend. If he buys into it, we’ll contact Wayne (the redneck BIL) and pitch it to him. I’ll be shocked if he takes longer than 27.9ms (microseconds) to accept it. Cindy, the lawyer & I feel it is the most equitable solution. We’re pretty sure Wayne will buy it. But it’s really up to Bob.
After (if) this little plan is executed, Power of Attorney will be moot. Rather than having “control” of all this money, the position will be reduced to that of bookkeeper & babysitter. Makes it even less desirable, eh?
Made it all the way to 11am before I had a conscious thought about bowling today. Littlest brother (age and physical size) will be off coaching his kids soccer team tonight, so we’ll be pulling Zach in to fill the roster. Hope we get an easy team tonight. Seems like we’ve been bowling nothing but teams in the top 6 or 8 places ever since Christmas. We’ve done ok, but it would really be nice to feel like you could relax just a wee bit for once. But, you know, men, testosterone, competition – fat chance anyone will relax.
Ooh. Speaking of Zach (and Jill), they’ve decided to have their reception at Beaver Hollow. Go check out their site. Especially check out the weddings section, accommodations, and the specials & packages. Have I said how I’m happy I’m the father of the groom? Makes no difference. Not now.
Damn kids have expensive taste. They MUST get it from their mothers. Zach’s opinion? “We’re only getting married once – why not do it right?” They popped the destination on us a couple of weeks ago. They let us know what some of the prices were. We were sent into a state of shock and rendered mute. Last weekend the two of them went and got more details. Details on the reception site, church, photographer (over $2K for a photographer!?!?!?), rehearsal dinner. They shared all these gory details with us Sunday night. Bottom line, they asked us to help cover some of the costs. Like maybe a third. The muteness was ended, but I’m afraid the kids detected a lack of enthusiasm on Cindy’s part, and I was, well, still a little dumbstruck. They left that night noticeably dejected. At least I thought it was noticeable. I talked with Cindy about it last night and she apparently didn’t pick up on it.
I’ve talked with Zach some over the last day or two. I’ve talked with Cindy some too. I think we can work out an agreeable position, let everybody save a little face, and maybe, if I’m lucky, I can wiggle out of this without anyone really knowing I was in the middle trying to placate both sides at once.
That’s a disease, isn’t it? Trying to keep everybody happy. Somehow, I have myself convinced that if I can keep everybody happy, I might get to be happy too. Come to think of it, that’s what this whole damn entry has been about. Me getting in the middle, trying to get both sides to play fair and find a middle ground everyone can be happy with. Or at least one they’re equally pissed about. Read that someplace once - You know you’ve reached a good compromise when both sides are equally pissed off with the results.
But, back to my point, is it trying to keep everybody happy, or is it trying to control a situation? Is it some of both? Does it really matter? (Alison – this is where you chime in and say “But this is what Al Anon is supposed to be helping you fix!!”) And you know? It is. Slowly, imperceptibly, that program is sneaking in. Know how I know? Because I’m starting to recognize this behavior for what it is. Two years ago, I’d have been clueless. At least now I know I’m goofy. Some consolation, eh?
Well, I’m going to take my goofy ass out of here and get some work done. I’m hip deep in some new VHDL modules, trying to keep all the threads straight. The simpler I try to make it on the outside, the more convoluted it gets on the inside. So I gotta try and wrap that one up, run some sims on it and get to bowling. Where I’ll get to not relax because of the testosterone driven competition gene we guys have. At least I know one thing – of the 60 guys in the league, only 2 or 3 of them can throw as consistently as hard as I can. That’s going to be our tie breaker one of these nights – speedball. Heh. I win.
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