Statistics show that a whopping 60 percent of adult Americans have yet to create a will or engage in other means of estate planning. However, as many knows, estate planning is an integral step one should make if they want to have their wishes granted after they pass away.
However, estate planning is not just vital for deciding what happens to your assets after you become deceased; an estate plan can be useful while you’re still alive. For instance, when you choose a power of attorney as part of your estate plan, someone else can make medical, business, and other big decisions on your behalf if you become decapacitated.
Here are five things to consider as you select a power of attorney:
1. Where they live
Choosing a power of attorney that lives nearby, preferably in the same state, is critical. For instance, in case of an emergency, it’s vital that your healthcare power of attorney can be there with you at the hospital, so they can make quick decisions for you that could potentially be a life or death situation.
2. How much you trust them
Trust is perhaps one of the most important things that should be present when choosing a power of attorney. You know you trust someone when you are completely okay with allowing them to make the right decisions on your behalf and know that their reasoning for making decisions for you is to do what’s best for you in all aspects whether it be medically or financially.
3. Your relationship with them
Even if you trust someone and know they have what it takes to take on the role as your power of attorney, it’s still a good idea to consider what your current relationship is with them, and perhaps, the relationship you had with them in the past.
Is your prospective power of attorney your husband’s ex-wife? Do you have frequent fights with your potential power of attorney? If your relationship or bond with a person is faltered or was never that strong, to begin with, or they’ve had a rough past with your spouse or kids, you might start to question their intentions for saying yes to being your power of attorney.
4. Their ability to be assertive
Assertiveness is an important characteristic in a power of attorney. Decide for yourself if your prospective power of attorney has what it takes to remain grounded and strong when placed in stressful situations. After all, when your wishes are on the line, you’re going to want someone who will stay true to what you want and do what it takes to make those wishes happen.
5. Their main intent for being your power of attorney
Your power of attorney should not just be willing to serve but also have the right intentions. Do you believe they will abuse your finances? Have they been known to be dishonest in the past? Do they have a history of stealing or going behind a loved one’s back? If so, their intentions for being your power of attorney might be directed towards the benefits they could receive.
For more information regarding estate planning and selecting power of attorney, contact Asset Protection & Elder Law of Georgia.
Choosing a power of attorney is just one of many aspects that are important when creating an estate plan. When selecting someone to be your power of attorney, however, it’s critical to consider where they live, how much you trust them and your relationship with them, how assertive they can be, and their intent for being your power of attorney, to begin with.