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Business & Employment Law

What’s Good for the Goose Is Bad for the Turkey

Why Flocking Like Geese Makes It Easier to Soar Like an Eagle

power of attorneyWhile most of us prefer turkey for our holiday feasts (devout turkey lovers having it for both Thanksgiving and Christmas), goose has been the traditional dish of winter holidays for centuries.

In the Middle Ages roast goose was used to celebrate the winter solstice. Norse tribes would offer up goose to Odin and Thor in thanks for the harvest. In ancient Greece goose was eaten in a ritual to insure the crops for months to come.

For many generations of Eastern European Jews, goose was a favorite during the Hanukah holiday. Eventually, in Victorian times, it became synonymous with Christmas a la the Cratchit’s bird of choice in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol where Scrooge learns the values of kindness and community.

power of attorneyAlthough Scrooge ultimately buys a turkey the size of Tiny Tim, a goose would have symbolized community even better. Why? Dr. Robert McNeish of Baltimore Md explained it back in 1972:
As each goose flaps its wings, it creates an “uplift” for the bird following. By flying in a “V” formation, the whole flock adds 71% more flying range than if each bird flew alone.

Lesson: People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.

Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to fly alone, and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the “lifting power” of the bird immediately in front.
Lesson: If we have as much sense as a goose, we will join in formations with those who are headed where we want to go.

Click here to read the whole “Lessons from the Geese”

power of attorneyThe holiday season is generally a time of coming together and connecting with your family and friends. That could mean the family you’re born into, or it could be the family you “adopt” when they aren’t available. Having them around us for the holidays gives us the same type of lift.
Similarly, your business benefits from the natural “lifting power” from your interdependence with others. I like to think that the natural “lifting power” of the goose can be done legally with a Power of Attorney.

What is a Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney allows a person to delegate the power to perform certain or all financial transactions to a designated agent without the need for a court proceeding or the probating of a will. It is a written document that basically gives another person the power to conduct the signer’s business, like signing papers, processing checks, handling bank accounts, and whatever other activities listed in the document. There are different kinds of powers of attorneys:

General Power of Attorney
covers all activities and is very broad. I know it seems counterintuitive to my control freak clients, but it is a GOOD THING to have a general and broad power. The power of the agent goes into effect immediately and ends when the principal (you) die or become incapacitated.

Special Power of Attorney usually grants broad powers only for a specific matter, like buying and selling a parcel of land or executing a particular financial transaction or for a certain period of time.

Durable Power of Attorney
is the most popular choice as it allows the signer (you) to delegate powers to his/her agent even if the signer becomes incapacitated. It can be “immediate” (self explanatory) or “springing” (meaning the agent’s powers only “spring forth” upon the happening of an event).

Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare allows your agent to make healthcare decisions for you. This is different from a living will or an advance care directive, which is a document outlining your medical wishes but does not allow your agent to make medical decisions for you.

Whether you like to envision your geese flying in formation or resting on your dinner table, the image of being surrounded and supported is like the power of attorney. It provides you the support and peace of mind that in case something happens to you. This type of support is also helpful even when you don’t need it: Sharing the same sense of direction literally can be “uplifting” and make your business grow.

Don’t go it alone. Let us help you.

Texas has a new Durable Power of Attorney form effective January 1, 2014. While we believe having a Power of Attorney is a good business practice, we are concerned about this new form. Register for our free video seminar on January 10, 2014, “Questions about the New Texas Durable Power of Attorney” where we discuss:

  • Where to download a free Texas Durable Power of Attorney.
  • How failing to complete the new form correctly may mean your agent may not have authority to act.
  • How the new form could actually increase your chances of fraud.

Click here to contact us today to register for this free seminar. You can make it your first, and easiest to keep, New Year’s resolution.