Tips on Selecting Someone to Become Your Financial Power of Attorney
Choosing who should hold the powers of attorney over vital areas of concern when making your estate plan is not a decision to be taken lightly.
You need to know that the person you choose has the knowledge and maturity to handle the responsibility. You also need to be confident that you can trust the person you choose.
There are also legal implications that must be considered when selecting a power of attorney.
What is a power of attorney?
What is important to understand is that by selecting a person to hold a power of attorney, you are entrusting that person to act on your behalf if you die or should lose the ability to communicate.
Powers of attorney holders can make critical decisions regarding the settlement of your estate, your health care, the care of your children, and more.
They can also be given access to bank accounts, retirement accounts, investment portfolios, and business assets. Often, a spouse or sibling can be a good choice.
Here are some important factors to keep in mind when making your choice.
Age, Proximity, and Health
It is essential that the person you choose is able to perform the duties required. The person should live reasonably close to your family home and should be able to include acting on your behalf in his or her daily activities.
If your power of attorney holder has to travel by plane to conduct your business, then that person may not be a good candidate.
Furthermore, it is wise to take the age and health condition of the person you choose into account. If there is a good chance the person you select could die — or if the additional responsibility would pose a threat to their health — then you should choose someone else.
You Should Trust Them Implicitly
The person you choose should be above reproach and fully deserving of your complete and total confidence. Your power of attorney will have very nearly as much authority over your concerns as you have when you are fully able and well.
The person you choose should not have interests that are contrary to your own, and they should be someone who has earned your trust and respect over many years.
It is not uncommon for people to fail to find a person they trust with their entire legacy. For this reason, an estate law attorney can also be given powers of attorney, in which case the attorney will have to be transparent to the law, your family, and to any other concerned parties.
Your Financial POA Should Understand Your Family Concerns
The dynamics of your family will play a part in who you should or should not select. If outstanding conflicts or irreconcilable differences exist, they may constitute a disqualifying factor.
For example, you may have a good candidate in mind, but that person may be married to or connected with someone who does not have your best interests at heart.
If the person you choose is a close relative, that individual may feel pressure to accept despite not being prepared to uphold the obligations. You should take care to avoid this problem.
Siblings who may have a conflicting interest may also be a poor choice. A legal advisor can help you to sort out these issues.
Holding any form of power of attorney requires that the person be at least reasonably competent in the type of matters involved. A proven track record of financial stability can be enough in some cases as a qualification for financial power of attorney.
A nurse or medical professional might be a good choice as a health care power of attorney. Whoever you choose, he or she should have the competence, or be able to obtain the ability, to faithfully and fully attend to your vital interests.
To learn more about powers of attorney and set up a consultation, contact us at Atlanta Wills & Trusts today.