Considerations when Selecting a Power of Attorney
by Nathan Russell, Owner & Managing Attorney
Selecting people who will represent you and your wishes is an important part of the estate planning process known as choosing your Powers of Attorney. Your Power of Attorney will act on your behalf if you are no longer able to do so. The two types of Power of Attorneys are Financial Power of Attorney and Medical Power of Attorney. Both can be lead and managed by the same person or by different people in your life.
Many people select their spouse, their children, a close relative, or friend, but you have the power to choose whoever you would like. Selecting a power of attorney is not necessarily who is closest to you but who can represent you and your wishes the best.
Characteristics to look for when selecting your Power of Attorneys:
- Someone who is trustworthy
- Don’t forget, the people or person you select as your power of attorney will have access to your assets and have final decision-making authority when considering your medical decisions. Choosing a trustworthy power of attorney to carry out your wishes is of the upmost importance.
- Someone who understands their duties as your Power of Attorney
- Serving as a Power of Attorney is a significant responsibility that should not be taken lightly. This person should be responsible, reliable, and able to fulfill the job duties for you.
- Someone who understands your wishes and your values
- You should have conversations about your wants and wishes prior to making this person your Power of Attorney. Be very clear and specific about what your wants and needs are. This person should also be able to stay the course of your wishes, even when emotions are high and in the event of an emergency when decisions need to be made quickly.
- Someone who is articulate and can communicate your wishes to professionals
- Your Financial Power of Attorney does not need to be a banker, just like your Medical Power of Attorney does not need to be a doctor. But they should be assertive, someone who knows how to ask the right questions and someone who is not afraid to challenge suggestions or options that may not reflect your wishes.
The attorneys at Russell Law Offices, S.C. are experienced in drafting these important documents for clients. Please feel free to reach out to schedule a consultation with one of our estate planning attorneys.