3 Ways You Can Stop a Challenge to Your Financial Power of Attorney

A financial power of attorney gives a person of your choice the authority to handle your financial affairs in the event that you are unable to. Although you might be pleased with your choice, your family might not agree with it. To help ensure that the person you choose is able to withstand a challenge, here is what you need to do. 

Get Witnesses

In some states, you are not required to have witnesses present when you sign a financial power of attorney. However, it could be in your best interests to do so. Your witnesses can testify to the fact that you were not coerced and logically sound when you signed the document. They can also attest to the fact that you were the person who signed. 

Videotape the Signing

Your state might not recognize a videotaped statement in place of a written financial power of attorney, but it can help fight off challengers. If you videotape yourself signing the power of attorney, the person you have chosen can use this to show that you were mentally competent at the time that you signed the document. If there are allegations that you were coerced, the videotape can help to dispel those. 

It is important to note that your tape can also work against you in some cases. If there is a challenge to the financial power of attorney and the tape is presented, the challenger and his or her attorney might try to paint your behavior or language in the video as being unusual. However, there is a way you can overcome that challenge. 

Get a Doctor's Statement

One way of overcome any questions about your sanity, behavior, or language is to get a statement from your doctor before you sign the financial power of attorney. Ideally, the statement should be attained as close as possible to the day of the signing so that there is no question of whether or not something happened to you in the period between the doctor seeing you and the signing. 

The doctor's statement should provide a professional assessment of your mental and physical health. Since your doctor is considered to be an unbiased professional, his or her assessment can hold a lot of weight in court.  It is doubtful that your financial power of attorney will be challenged. However, it is important that you plan ahead for the possibility so that there are no delays in your choice taken control of your finances.

For additional information and advice, contact an estate planning lawyer.