People who are creating an estate plan should make sure they don’t stay focused on the distribution of assets that they forget there are some other aspects of estate planning that they need to take manage. One of these is getting powers of attorney set.
A power of attorney is a document that you use to appoint someone to make decisions for you if you can’t do this yourself. There are two primary areas that you need to have a power of attorney over – finances and health care. The same person can take care of both areas or you can have a different designee for each.
What types of decisions does a power of attorney make?
The person who holds your power of attorney can make any decision you’d normally make. It’s possible to include some exclusions in these documents. Make sure they understand what exclusions or limitations you’re setting.
When it comes to the health care power of attorney, the person will make decisions that aren’t already covered in your advanced directives. They work with your medical care team to make decisions about your care. The person with your financial power of attorney can take care of your assets and pay your bills. They can also make decisions about your investments.
Who should you name for the power of attorney responsibilities?
You should select a person who’s able to put their own desires aside and focus on what you would want. They should be able to make decisions for you even under stressful circumstances. Assertiveness and attention to detail are important.
Ideally, you’ll be able to talk to the individuals you name to care for your affairs if you’re incapacitated. This gives them a chance to ask you questions and to find out if they understand your wishes.