A power of attorney is a record that gives another person the authority to make decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. It can include financial or healthcare decisions. Choosing the right person to be your POA is an important decision that should not be taken lightly. Here are some key factors to consider when choosing a power of attorney.
Understand the Different Types of Power of Attorney
There are several different types of power of attorney, each with its responsibilities and authority. It’s essential that you understand each and choose one that best meets your needs.
Durable Power of Attorney for Finances: This type of POA gives the designated person the authority to make financial decisions on your behalf. It includes managing your bank accounts, paying bills, and handling investments.
Medical Power of Attorney: This POA gives one the authority to make healthcare decisions on your behalf.
Consider the Responsibilities of Being a Power of Attorney
Being a power of attorney is a significant responsibility; only some are suited for the role. You must consider the position’s duties and choose someone capable of handling them. The person you choose should be reliable, trustworthy, and have good judgment.
Your Relationship with the Person
It’s important to choose someone you know well and trust. This person will have significant power over your life, and you need to be confident that they will use it in your best interest. They should also be willing to take on the role, as it can be a significant time commitment.
Talk to a Lawyer
It’s a good idea to consult a lawyer before making your decision. They will help you understand the legal requirements of a power of attorney, explain your options, and assist you in creating the legal document. They can also help you ensure that the chosen person is legally eligible.
Review and Update Your Decision Regularly
Choosing a power of attorney is not a one-time decision. Reviewing and updating your choice is essential to ensure that you selected the best fit for the role. Circumstances can change, and the person you chose may no longer be able to serve as your power of attorney.
Choose Someone within your Proximity
It’s beneficial to have someone close by to handle decisions promptly. If the chosen person lives far away, consider selecting a backup power of attorney nearby for emergency situations.
Familiarity with Your History
Ensure the person you choose knows both your financial and medical history. It is particularly crucial for a healthcare power of attorney as they may need to make serious medical decisions on your behalf.
Choosing a power of attorney is a serious decision that requires careful consideration. It is vital to understand the different types of POA, consider the role’s responsibilities, consider your relationship with the person, consult a lawyer, and review your decision regularly. Choosing your power of attorney carefully will ensure that your wishes are well respected and protected. It’s important to take time to think about who will be the best decisions for you as your power of attorney.