If you are someone in California who is working on estate planning, it is not only important to make plans for the financial aspects of your life, but for the personal aspects of your life. Who do you trust to make end of life decisions? Who would you trust to keep your best interests at heart? Who do you think would be fair, should a decision need to be made?
The person who you would designate with those powers is the one to whom you may wish to give the power of attorney. In some cases it could be an impartial person such as your family lawyer, but in other instances it is a family member. Zsa Zsa Gabor’s husband had the power of attorney until the judge recently took it away from him as a lengthy conservatorship battle came to an end.
According to news sources, the dispute was between the 95-year-old actress’ husband of 25 years and her only daughter. The daughter has been fighting for conservatorship rights for years. She charged that Gabor’s husband kept his wife heavily sedated and increasingly isolated from everyone, including the daughter. She also charged that he was being fiscally irresponsible with her mother’s estate.
The husband countered that he limited the daughter’s contact with the 95-year-old actress, because the daughter brought negativity to the room when she would visit.
A judge settled the dispute by appointing the husband as conservator but removing his power of attorney.
The daughter is reportedly pleased with this decision. She will now be able to visit her mother without the husband present. The husband will be required to send cancelled checks to the daughter’s attorney, and must ask for permission from the court before accessing some accounts. He would apparently not be able to sell the actress’ home and perform other functions granted to someone with the power of attorney. The judge will revisit the situation in January.
This is a good reminder that one should be very careful when making power of attorney designations. An experienced professional can provide guidance in these and other estate planning matters.
Source: KTLA.com, “Judge Appoints Conservator For Zsa Zsa Gabor,” July 11, 2012