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How to pick a power of attorney

On Behalf of | Jul 21, 2022 | Estate Planning |

Who you name as your power of attorney is a serious decision. This is the person you trust to handle your affairs if you become incapacitated.

There are several things to consider when choosing your agent under a POA. Here are three elements to inform your decision.

1. Identify trusted individuals

People commonly assume that only one individual serves as a POA. Although one person can fill the role, choosing one child over another could create distrust and separation among the family. It also gives a person the ability to abuse the position. Naming more than one individual allows for more transparency in the care and administration of your finances and personal decisions.

2. Understand a person’s capacity

Trust is a primary factor in choosing a POA, but it is also important for the individual to be competent in the tasks you are asking them to handle. A POA can make legal and financial decisions on your behalf, so selecting an individual who cannot handle their own finances or make wise decisions is not the person to care for your affairs.

3. Consider the individual’s location

Keep in mind that the individual who must act on your behalf should live in your area. This makes it more convenient when handling your affairs, but it also allows you to communicate more fully with the individual. Your and your designated agent need to clearly and fully communicate your wishes before any decisions come up.

A power of attorney should accurately represent your wishes if you are no longer able to make decisions. Consulting with trusted family members and legal counsel ensures you understand the decision you make.

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