One of the most important estate planning documents you will create is the durable power of attorney. When you create this document, you appoint an agent to make financial and legal decisions for you if you become mentally incapacitated. You can approve this person to pay bills, handle banking transactions, manage real estate, make investments, handle taxes and manage insurance.
These are all important duties that should only be carried out by a trustworthy individual. It can be tricky to decide who to entrust with this role. Here are a few crucial considerations to make when writing this document.
The person you select to be your financial and legal agent must be willing to follow your desires and make decisions regardless of pressure or input from other parties. This individual may need to make choices against the wishes of family members, friends or financial establishments. If you anticipate any potential pushback, make sure you choose someone who has a strong will.
2. Financial responsibility
Due to the very nature of the duties involved, it is important that the agent you appoint is responsible. This person does not need to be a financial professional or of a certain social status–they simply should be someone who is good at handling his or her own affairs.
3. A medical power of attorney
You may also want to create a medical power of attorney to handle health care matters for you. Sometimes, you may want to name the same individual to handle both types of responsibilities. This makes everything cohesive and easy to manage. But if you feel like you need to name separate people, make sure you choose individuals who are willing to compromise and work together. You do not want two agents interfering with one another.
At the end of the day, you should choose someone you trust with the most important decisions of your life.