A power of attorney is a legal document you can use to designate a person to make decisions about things such as healthcare, financial transactions, or signing of legal documents if you are unable to make these decisions for yourself because you become incapacitated. Choosing to give someone this authority over your affairs is a big decision and one that should be made only after a lot of thoughtful consideration. Many people opt to designate their spouse or a trusted family member within their power of attorney, but there are some important things to think about before you choose who to designate.
- Steadfastness. The person you choose will need to have the ability to carry out your wishes with other family members even when they don’t agree.
- Trustworthiness. Choosing someone you can trust unconditionally is critical. Can the person you select carry out your wishes above their own financial needs and personal beliefs? If the person you are considering is set to inherit from your estate, is it safe to have them managing your finances and your healthcare?
- Separation of Power. It may be wise to choose more than one person to handle your affairs. By giving several people partial control of your healthcare, home and business affairs, personal property, and financial accounts, a balance of power can hopefully be achieved.
- Competent. Is the person you choose someone who has good decision-making skills, and do they understand finances and the importance of the task? They will need to have the ability to work with attorneys and financial institutions as well as navigating the healthcare system all in your best interest.
If you are ready to create a power of attorney and designate someone within that document as your agent and would like advice and help in doing so, please contact us at Bennett Guthrie PLLC today.