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Tips on choosing a power of attorney

On Behalf of | Mar 11, 2024 | Estate Planning - Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is a legal document that allows you to transfer authority over your affairs to another party. This is highly beneficial from an estate planning perspective, as powers of attorney ensure optimal peace of mind.

Because you will be allowing another person to make decisions on your behalf, selecting the right individual to serve as your representative is so important. Here are some steps to get you started.

Understand the types of powers of attorney

Before making a decision, you must understand the different types of powers of attorney available. A general power of attorney grants broad authority to handle financial and legal matters. Conversely, a healthcare power of attorney specifically addresses medical decisions.

Select a trusted individual

When searching for an attorney-in-fact, look for someone who has demonstrated good judgment in the past. This individual should have your best interests at heart and be willing to act in accordance with your wishes, even in challenging situations.

Consider legal and financial competence

The person you choose must also be competent enough to manage legal and financial affairs. Evaluate their understanding of financial matters and their ability to make informed decisions. Opt for someone organized, detail-oriented and capable of handling complex matters effectively.

Discuss your wishes

Open communication is key when selecting a power of attorney. Sit down with the individual you’re considering and discuss your wishes, preferences and expectations. Make sure they understand your values, beliefs, and priorities, as this will guide their decision-making process in the future.

Ensure availability and accessibility

Your chosen power of attorney should be reachable in case of emergencies or urgent situations. Accordingly, you must select someone who is readily accessible. Consider factors such as proximity, availability and responsiveness when making your decision.

Choose a backup

In case your primary choice is unable to fulfill their duties, it is wise to designate a backup power of attorney. When reviewing possible candidates, apply the same criteria as you would to your first choice.

Because it is such an important decision, you must consider numerous factors when it comes to powers of attorney. With the right approach, you can rest assured of continuity and peace of mind.