Who Can Serve as My Agent If My Children and Family are Estranged?

 In Durable Powers of Attorney, Wills


Who can I name to take care of my estate if my children and family are estranged from me and I don’t have any friends I would trust to handle things? What are my options here?



Your situation is becoming more and more common, whether due to family estrangement, as in your case, or because individuals were never married or had children or have outlived their family members. People in this situation or sometimes referred as “elder orphans.”

Finding someone to fill in is a lot easier for financial and legal matters than for health care decision making. Estate planning attorneys regularly serve as personal representatives or executors of estates and as trustee of trusts. Banks and trust companies can serve as trustees of trusts. Attorneys may be more reluctant to serve as agents under durable powers of attorney, but many will do so for long-time clients.

Finding someone to serve as an agent under a health care proxy or power of attorney often proves more difficult. Most lawyers feel uncomfortable taking on such a personal and often time-consuming role. If you are a member of a church or other religious organization, it may have volunteers who serve in this role. I’ve also been intrigued lately with the idea of support circles where a group of seniors volunteer to assist one another with all sorts of needs — social visits, fitness, financial support, and health care decision making as needed.


Related Articles:

How Can “Elder Orphan” Plan for the Future?

What Should a Single Person Do for Financial and Health Care Agents?

Do I Really Need a Trust if I’m Single and Have No Children?

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