There comes a time in everyone’s life when setting up a power of attorney makes sense. That moment is different for everyone.
One aspect of the legal document that remains the same for all is the need to select an agent to act on your behalf.
How does a power of attorney work?
In the event that you become mentally or physically incapacitated, the agent you select can act on your behalf to pay bills and make medical decisions for you. The types of actions and decisions your agent can make depend upon the power of attorney you created. An experienced attorney can assist you with this and other estate planning necessities.
How to decide who to select as your agent?
Many people choose a child, spouse or close friend to act as their agent. Technically, you can select anyone you want as power of attorney. However, you must ensure you can trust this person and that he or she will make medical and financial decisions in your best interest. Though you may not agree on everything, a good agent will agree to carry out your wishes whether they concur with your decisions or not. Generally, you should look for the following attributes in an agent for your power of attorney:
- Someone you trust
- Someone who can hold their ground
- Someone who can relay their thoughts under pressure
- Someone who lives in close proximity to you
Designating someone to act on your behalf is a major life decision that should be well thought out. Take your time making the final determination and consider all possible options.