Q: My brother's wife has a moderate Alzheimer's condition and is totally unable to handle any financial transactions. He also is in poor health and fears if he has a stroke, etc. he will be unable to control any of their financial transactions. Would a "finanancial directive" purchased at a stationery store giving me power of attorney as executor be legal or would it be better for him to do a living trust or will? My brother has a large estate and numerous CDs. What is the reality if he has a stroke or heart attack and both of them are unable to process any financial transactions? Thank you. -- Dave, West Sacramento
A:Using online services or buying generic forms from a stationery store may be fine for an uncomplicated situation, but since you indicated that your brother had a "large" estate and "numerous" CDs, I recommend that you seek the help of an estate planning attorney.
Here's a list of resources for locating an estate planning attorney in your area:
â€¢ Ask family, friends or business associates for a referral
â€¢ Ask your financial advisor or your accountant for a referral
â€¢ Ask other attorneys you've worked with on other legal matters for a referral
â€¢ Contact your state or local bar association for a referral
â€¢ Check advertisements in the phone book, newspaper or online.
â€¢ Contact your local probate court for a referral
This area of the law can be complicated, and trying to save a few bucks could be an expensive mistake.