This month, I am enjoying an amazing vacation in Australia! I will be out of the office for three weeks, which is my longest vacation since I started my law firm in 1999. My travel tastes generally lead me to larger urban areas with 4G internet access. In this instance, I have centered my vacation time in Australia’s two largest cities – Sydney and Melbourne. In addition, my personality generally calls me to be accessible at all times. This vacation is no exception. I am happily using my Verizon Global Pass and traveling with my smart phone, MiFi, laptop and even a mobile printer/copier/scanner. I am staying in contact with my law firm during my absence and can take care of needed business.
But suppose, that sort of vacation was not in my nature? Instead, suppose I dreamed of a three-week vacation traveling through the Australian Outback with a backpack and no internet connection? And then, to conjure up some imaginary problems, suppose a client requested that his funds being held in our trust account be returned to him, but no one had the authority to issue that refund to him? Or, suppose my cat and our Office Morale Leader Roger was injured, and the cat sitter couldn’t reach me to facilitate payment to the veterinarian?
If you are inaccessible while on a vacation, from a practical standpoint, is that any different than if you were in a coma? In both cases, if something happens, you can’t take care of it.
Is the answer to always be accessible? No, not if that’s not in your nature. Instead, the answer may be to execute a limited power of attorney that would come into play if you intend to be both absent and inaccessible for a long period of time. If you own a business, that limited power of attorney can help in making sure that the person you name to be in charge during your absence, known as the Attorney-in-Fact, has the authority to issue the trust payment to the client or take care of other urgent matters related to the business. And, if you don’t own a business, that limited power of attorney can still be helpful in making sure that your Attorney-in-Fact has the authority to make a judgment call about the payment to be made to the veterinarian (anyone who I would nominate would know that money is no object when it comes to my cat Roger!) and be able to facilitate payment from my accounts for the bill.
In other words, a limited power of attorney can help you responsibly take that lengthy vacation in which you, literally, “unplug” from technology and being accessible. If you are planning a trip and need some assistance in this regard, we’d be happy to help!
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