Creating a power of attorney sounds simple. This is an essential part of your estate plan, so you don’t want to overlook the importance any longer. Instead, you need to tackle this process head on and put it behind you once and for all.
There is more to a power of attorney than meets the eye. For example, there are many types. You may decide to create a Health Care Directive, ensuring that there is somebody you trust to make key health related decisions in the event that you are incapacitated and unable to do so on your own.
At some point, you need to choose an agent. This is the person who has the power to make decisions on your behalf. He or she may never be in position to use the power, but you never know what the future holds.
If you don’t choose an agent, your power of attorney is not complete. It’s as simple as that.
What can an Agent do?
Some people don’t understand what a power of attorney agent is able to do, however, there is a pretty simple answer to this question: it’s up to you. This is the nice thing about creating a power of attorney. You are giving authorization to a person to make decisions. What types of decisions, however, comes down to your personal preferences.
Some people opt for a general power of attorney, meaning that the person will have full control over everything from finances to medical decisions.
Others focus on one type of power of attorney, such as only for medical or financial purposes.
Tip: you can create more than one power of attorney, naming a different agent for each type.
Name a Second Agent
Naming one power of attorney agent is difficult enough. Appointing a second person can complicate the process even further. That being said, it’s something you need to do. And here is why: you never know if your agent will refuse to live up to his or her duties. Additionally, if this person passes on before you, you want to know that a backup agent is ready to takeover should the time come.
Answer these Questions
Now that you have a basic understanding of what a power of attorney can do, it’s time to make the big decision. It’s time to appoint an agent.
Since this is such a big decision, you need to exercise patience and good judgment. You don’t want to rush into a decision, as this could impact you and your family in the future.
Here are a few of the many questions you need to answer:
- Can you trust the person to carry out your wishes, no matter what it takes?
- Do you have any reason to believe the person may not be able to live up to the responsibility of acting as a power of attorney agent?
- Is the person responsible enough to make key decisions?
- Will the person charge you a fee?
- Will the person agree to serve as your power of attorney agent, both now and into the future?
Once you answer these questions, you will have a better idea of which person to choose. Even if you still have a few people on your short list, you are getting closer to making a decision.
Final tip: don’t name a person a power of attorney agent unless you first ask them to serve in this capacity. You may think the person will agree, but this is not always the case. Before you name somebody as an agent, have a heart to heart conversation with him or her.
These are the types of pointers that can help you choose a power of attorney agent without delay. This is a big part of your estate plan, so make sure you give it the appropriate amount of time and attention.
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