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Things to Consider When Choosing Power of Attorney

blank power of attorney document

As we age, planning for our estate and end-of-life care becomes an increasingly important way to ensure that your wishes are known, and you and your loved ones are prepared for the changes in your life. Planning may include considering the possibility of becoming incapacitated and requiring someone else to make important decisions regarding our health or assets. One way to prepare for that possibility includes granting a trusted person powers of attorney. This is a powerful designation, and requires careful consideration. 

A power of attorney is a legal document allocating the right to make certain decisions on another person’s behalf. The power of attorney can be limited in scope to include making either financial or health care decisions on the individual’s behalf. It is possible to tailor a Durable Power of Attorney to reflect the powers that you want the Power of Attorney to have. In Florida there are special powers that need to be signed off individually. It is important to discuss these options with an estate planning attorney. A general power of attorney can also include a broader set of powers that are not limited to specific areas. A power of attorney can limit the authority to make decisions to a certain amount of time or circumstances. It is executed outside of a courtroom and does not need a judge to sign off on it. 

When choosing a power of attorney, several factors should be considered. You will want to consider someone who has experience dealing with financial or medical issues or someone who has the qualities to deal with these issues. While your instinct may be to select the person closest to you, that may not always be the way to go. Selecting a power of attorney should be about choosing the person who can represent your wishes the best. You should also fully trust the person you appoint and to feel comfortable discussing your health care wishes with them. Whoever you choose must have the ability to follow through with your wishes, even if they disagree. 

Additionally, you may want to consider someone who lives in your state. They may need to get to a hospital or healthcare facility in a hurry, especially in the case of an emergency. 

While choosing someone who is trustworthy is important, it is also important that they are assertive. You will want to choose someone who will not back down when it comes to supporting your wishes. The person you select should be able to communicate clearly without second-guessing what they are doing. It is also important to make sure the person can articulate your decisions. You should choose someone who is organized and who has strong communication skills.  

Another important thing to consider is whether the person is willing to fulfill this duty for you. While asking someone to take on power of attorney duties for you is an honor, it is also stressful and time-consuming. Not everyone is cut out to take on the role of Power of Attorney. Talk to the person you are considering to be sure that they feel they could serve in this capacity. You do not want someone taking on the duties without an interest in taking on the responsibility of the role.

Contact and Estate Planning Lawyer

If you are considering designating a power of attorney, it may be worth speaking with an experienced estate planning attorney who can help you through the process. The Mattar Firm can help you put together an estate plan specific to your needs. Call 239-222-2222.

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