Selecting a power of attorney (POA) is a crucial decision that can greatly impact your life and well-being, especially in situations where you may be unable to make decisions for yourself. Whether you’re planning for the future or facing a sudden need, choosing the right person for this role is essential.
Having this legal designation brings peace of mind. However, the decision of who to designate as your power of attorney is not so simple. Here are a few insightful tips on choosing your power of attorney.
Understand the Basics:
- Know what a power of attorney is: A legal document that grants someone the authority to make decisions on your behalf.
- Different types of POAs: Durable, general, limited, medical, financial, and more. Identify which type(s) you need.
Identify Potential Candidates:
- Consider trusted family members, friends, or professionals who are reliable and have your best interests at heart.
- Discuss your intentions with potential candidates to gauge their willingness and ability to take on the role.
- Trust is paramount. Choose someone with a track record of honesty, responsibility, and integrity.
- Ensure your candidate can separate their interests from yours and make decisions in your best interest.
- Your chosen power of attorney should have a good understanding of the legal responsibilities and obligations associated with the role.
- They should be capable of managing your affairs, whether financial, medical, or other.
- Effective communication is crucial. Your POA must be able to understand your wishes and convey them clearly to others.
- Regular and open communication between you and your attorney is essential for a successful partnership.
Proximity and Availability:
- Ideally, your power of attorney should be geographically close and readily available in case of emergencies.
- Consider their existing commitments and availability to ensure they can fulfill the role when needed.
- It’s wise to appoint an alternative or successor attorney in case your primary choice becomes unable or unwilling to act.
- Ensure your chosen backup has the same qualities and meets the same criteria as your primary attorney.
Seek Legal Advice:
- Consult with an attorney to draft the power of attorney document properly.
- Make sure the document complies with your state’s laws and includes specific powers and limitations.
- Periodically review and update your power of attorney, especially when circumstances or relationships change.
- Confirm that your chosen attorney is still willing and able to take on the role.
Inform Loved Ones:
- Let your family and close friends know about your decision and the identity of your chosen power of attorney.
- Sharing this information can prevent disputes or confusion in the future.
Selecting a power of attorney is a significant decision that should be made carefully. It’s a role that requires trust, competence, and effective communication. By following the guidelines provided in this blog, you can ensure that your chosen power of attorney is well-prepared to make important decisions on your behalf when the need arises. Remember, a well-chosen power of attorney can offer peace of mind during challenging times.
This is your decision and only your decision. When you’re ready to assign a power of attorney or to begin your estate planning process, give us a call and we’ll start the process for you.
Call Chuck Bendig (614) 878-7777