Deciding on someone to hold power of attorney is an important step of estate planning. However, you do need to make sure that person fits the role.
Not everyone is a good fit for the position. Some people may not live close enough to you. Others may not have time to fulfill their obligations and responsibilities. So, what should you look for in the right power of attorney?
Look for these three signs that someone you know is right for this role
To start with, the first thing you should do is find someone who can be assertive. You want someone who knows you, what you want and what you need. You also want them to be willing to fight on your behalf, so they can assert themselves whenever they need to do so.
Another thing to look for in the right power of attorney is someone who is trustworthy. You want to know that they’re not going to share your private information or steal from you, for example. You want someone who is going to be there for you and not ignore your demands or wishes.
A third sign that a person is right to be your power of attorney is that they have a good understanding of medical processes and can articulate what needs to happen under stressful circumstances. It may be difficult for someone to handle a situation where you’re sick or unwell. You want to select a power of attorney who will make difficult decisions for you and remember what your preferences were. You want to know that they are going to understand all the options and be able to make educated decisions on your behalf.
Do you have to let someone know they’re going to be your power of attorney?
If you do select a power of attorney, you should let them know that you’d like them to take on this role. They may be happy to do it, but some people won’t be comfortable taking on that kind of responsibility. If that’s the case, find someone with a willingness to take on that role, so you know they’ll step up if the time comes.