Most people are familiar with the concept of power of attorney even if they are not familiar with the various nuances associated with the estate planning process.
Power of attorney allows a person to appoint another individual as an agent who will make financial and health care cases in cases the person who created the document becomes incapacitated.
There are actually several different types of power of attorney documents. Fo example, durable powers of attorney which allows an individual to appoint someone to make financial decision, while contingent powers of attorney become effective once a person becomes incapacitated.
This article lists some advice to follow when selecting a person to grant with power of attorney in case you become incapacitated.
Deciding who Should Be Granted Power of Attorney
When tasked with deciding power of attorney, many people select a spouse or a close relative.
While some people decide to select a child to act with power of attorney, it is a wise idea to be cautious about appointing a child to act in this role. Even though children might have grown up, this might not mean that they have the ability to make financial or healthcare decisions.
Factors to Consider when Appointing Power of Attorney
There are a number of unique factors that a person should consider when deciding on who will act as a power of attorney agent. Some of these factors include:
- The level and type of relationship with the person that you are considering appointing as an agent.
- Whether the potential agent has a spouse who will support their decisions or whether that spouse will attempt to control actions regarding the choices that will be made on your behalf.
- If the person you are debating selecting as a power of attorney agent lives close to you or a medical center where you will receive treatment. This individual might be required to arrive at either location quickly in case an emergency occurs. This means that selecting someone who does not live close by might not be the best choice.
- Whether the person you are appointing can remain assertive when complex emotions are involved. If a person is passive, they might not be able to make the best choices in pressure filled situations.
- Whether the potential agent understands medical processes. While this does not mean that it is necessary to select a physician or nurse to act in this role, it is important that the individual understands how to act the appropriate medical questions. The person you select should also not be someone who is afraid to challenge any options that do not conform to your wishes.
- Not everyone is prepared to perform the various tasks that a power of attorney agent must make. As a result, it is critical to make sure that the individual you ultimately appoint feels ready to act in this role.
Speak with an Experienced Estate Planning Attorney
If you have questions about how a power of attorney document operates or need assistance creating a document, you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced estate planning lawyer.
Contact Ettinger Estate Planning today to schedule a free initial consultation.