When you own property, you want to protect it and that includes planning for the possibility that future events could leave you incapable of managing it.

In incapacity planning, like everything else, you have options: a trust or a continuing power of attorney for property. As someone over the age of 65, either an alter-ego or joint-partner trust can be the best choice.

That’s because these trusts can be more:


Trustees’ duties and powers can be tailored to your specific circumstances. Continuing powers of attorney rarely outline how to appoint and replace attorneys, and they often fail to give sufficiently detailed directions explaining how to manage your property.


A trust provides greater peace of mind for estate planning, as it continues to exist after your death — management of the property continues uninterrupted. Neither incapacity nor the settlor’s death affects a trustee’s authority.

On the other hand, a continuing power of attorney will end if you die, leaving your beneficiaries to wait until your will goes through probate before an executor can take over property management.

This can cause major delays, because banks and other third parties typically require probate as proof of authority, adding extra stress and uncertainty for your beneficiaries during an already emotionally fraught time.