As an agent under a financial power of attorney, you have a critical role to play when it comes to inventorying and protecting a principal's assets. One of the first steps that you can do is to ensure that the principal's home is secure.
Look for any damage or leaks within the property that need to be addressed immediately. It can be helpful to create a video version of the condition of the house early on. The video can also be used to help take inventory of personal property stored at in the home. If the principal will no longer be living in the home while they are incapacitated, turn down the heat during the winter season to a temperature that will still protect the pipes.
If it appears that the principal will be incapacitated over a long period, cancel any newspaper subscriptions or land line phone services and consider taking the necessary steps to put any vehicles in storage. Remember to make arrangements for yard maintenance and snow removal, if needed. It’s a good idea to also install a security system, if possible, because some people in the neighborhood might notice that the property is vacant and target the it for potential squatting or theft. Make sure to check out the property on an ongoing basis to see if there are any other crisis situations or problems that require attention.
If you’re appointing an agent under a financial power of attorney or if your elderly parents have recently named you as their agent, make sure you know the importance of keeping good records to back up any decisions that you made during the time the power of attorney was activated.