Personal Injury Lawyer
In the legal profession there are many terms and abbreviations that are used. I’ve heard from many clients that are intimidated by attorneys and when they start talking legal jargon and it is like some code in a secret society. Here are a few we abbreviations or acronyms we use in our office in when we are working with estate plan clients.
EA: Engagement Agreement. This is the contract between you and your legal counsel where the details of representation and fees are outlined so both parties are aware, and agree, on the scope of representation and the amount to be charged for the representation, as well as the attorneys’ duties to the client.
EP Documents: You may hear your attorney talk about EP documents, which means Estate Plan documents, which normally includes a last will and testament, FPOA, HCPOA, and CRA, which are defined below. It could also include creating a Trust and/or drafting Transfer on Death Deed.
PR: Personal Representative. This is the person nominated in your Will to administer your estate should a probate need to be opened after your death.
FPOA: Financial Power of Attorney. This is a document where the maker nominates an agent to make financial decisions on their behalf in the event the become incapacitated and are unable to make the decisions on their own. Normally the maker nominates their spouse, or adult children. A successor agent is also nominated in the event the original agent is not available. This document is null and void upon your death.
HCPOA: Health Care Power of Attorney. This is a document wherein the maker nominates an agent to make health care decisions on their behalf in the event the become incapacitated and are unable to make their own decisions. Normally the maker nominates their spouse, or adult children. Again, a successor agent is also nominated in the event the original agent is not available.
T.O.D.: Transfer on Death. This means that a person uses a document or instrument to transfer on death certain property or assets to the named individual. These are commonly used when an individual wants to deed real property to a person what goes directly to the named individual and passes outside of probate.
P.O.D.: Payable on Death. This is similar to TOD but is usually found on bank accounts or life insurance policies wherein the maker names a beneficiary to receive the funds of the account upon their death.
CRA: Consumer Registration Agreement. This is a form used to register your HCPOA in the event of an emergency and you are unable to make decisions for yourself. The CRA is submitted to the End-of-Life Registry along with a copy of your HCPOA. You will receive a card in the mail to carry in your wallet and sticker for your driver’s license which alerts emergency personnel you have registered your HCPOA.
There are just a few abbreviations related to estate planning we use in our office. Other firms may have similar abbreviations and acronyms. In any event, if you are unsure of what something means, always feel free to ask you legal team for further explanation.
Submitted by Audrey Blomquist, Paralegal