As trustee for my parents' living trust, can I manage their affairs if they're unable and do I still need power of attorney?

Carol gleason asked...

As a trustee for my parents in their living trust, can I manage their affairs if they become unable to do so? Do I still need a power of attorney?

Expert Answer

Barbara Repa, a senior editor, is an attorney, a journalist specializing in aging issues, and the author of Your Rights in the Workplace (Nolo), now in its 10th edition.

Your role as trustee of the living trust is a big one, but it only authorizes you to manage the property in the trust should your parents become incapacitated.

You would still need to be appointed their agent in a durable power of attorney for finances to handle income likely to be outside the trust -- from pensions, Social Security and other sources and to pay their bills and maintain their bank accounts, for example.