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How should your power of attorney protect your home?

On Behalf of | Sep 30, 2021 | estate planning | 0 comments

Picking someone to serve as your power of attorney is an important decision because of all the duties your POA will have to perform. In the event you become incapacitated and have to stay in a hospital or a nursing home, your POA will probably have to take steps to protect your property, particularly your house.

Whoever becomes your POA should be capable of preserving your home until, if possible, you can return to it. Kiplinger explains various ways a power of attorney may protect someone’s residence.

Home upkeep

Your POA should take steps to keep your home in good condition, like arranging for someone to mow the grass and for a termite inspector to check the property. Your POA should also keep a lookout for cracks and leaks that could cause major damage. Mold may become another problem. Your POA will probably keep the air conditioning on to prevent a mold infestation.

If no one lives in your home, your POA can take some actions to reduce your utility bills, like keeping the lights and the gas off. Additionally, your home may not need heat in cold weather, thought your POA should make sure your pipes do not freeze.

Canceling services

In the event your incapacitation lasts for a long period of time, your POA may have to take some actions to reduce your expenses. You may want your POA to cancel your newspaper subscription. If you have a landline for your home, your POA may cancel the service since no one will be using your home’s phone.

Protecting the home from intruders

If your home remains unoccupied, it could draw the attention of squatters. Also, you might have family members who have their eye on some of your property, believing that they will or should inherit it. They might try to enter your home to claim it. To prevent unwanted intrusions into your home, you may direct your POA to change the locks on your home and make regular checks on your residence.

Because your POA will have so much to do to protect your home, you probably want to pick someone who lives in or near your community. It may also help if your POA knows someone who can serve as a property manager to look after your home.