What to look for in a power of attorney

A power of attorney steps in to make decisions for you in the event you become incapacitated and unable to make sound decisions for yourself. Choosing the right power of attorney is not always easy. Here are a few qualities to look for in making this important decision:

  • Trustworthiness: First and foremost, your power of attorney should be someone you trust. It is hardly an exaggeration to say you will be placing your life in this person’s hands. Choosing someone you trust to make key financial and/or medical decisions on your behalf is of paramount importance.
  • Assertiveness: Your power of attorney is to act on your behalf, regardless any pressure they may receive from other parties such as friends or family members. Choose someone who understands you well enough to know what you would want and strong willed enough to advocate for you no matter the resistance they face.
  • Communication skills: If someone is to speak on your behalf, you want to make sure they are an articulate messenger. Good communicators make good powers of attorney.
  • Proximity: A person may be the perfect power of attorney in other respects, but if they live far away, they will not be able to fulfill all of their duties. Someone local, with a strong knowledge of the court system and medical centers, is equipped to handle this hands-on role.

Before making any important decisions regarding choosing powers of attorney or other estate planning matters, consult with an attorney who is experienced in the process. By choosing the right power of attorney, you can rest assured that your wishes will be respected and carried out no matter what lies ahead.

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