Completing advance directives is a responsible part of building your estate plan. Not only do you have the opportunity to dictate what matters to you at the end of life, completing certain tasks can give you control over who advocates or speaks for you in cases when you cannot. You are never too young to choose a Power of Attorney for your health or for your financial needs. These designations are crucial to assuring that your wishes are carried out even if you are unable to make them happen.
What is a Power of Attorney?
A Power of Attorney form gives you the change to designate an Agent, or person who will make decisions on your behalf when you can no longer do so. You can choose an Agent for financial matters and an Agent for health care matters, and that Agent does not need to be the same for both duties.
There are different types of Power of Attorney documents that determine when the duties begin. Work with your lawyer at Bell & Shah to determine which may be best for your situation.
Choosing Your Agent
Choosing a Power of Attorney Agent is an important decision and one that you should take time in deciding. While many people choose a child or children for the roles, others choose a partner, family member, or trusted friend to complete the duties. In any case, you should be sure that the Agent knows you well, and that you can count on them to make decisions based on your wishes, even when those wishes may differ from their own.
While you can choose to have an Agent that does both financial and health care duties, you may consider splitting the responsibility between two people. If that option works for you, it can give the Agents relief in making every decision along every facet of your life.
Talking to Your Agent
Before you come into the office to declare your Power of Attorney Agent choices, be sure you talk to the potential Agent first. This is a big responsibility and while most people see the role of Agent as an honor, some people can see being named an Agent as overwhelming or stressful. Assure your potential Agent understands the role and then set specific times to talk about your wishes together. While these conversations aren’t always comfortable ones, it is imperative that you get your wishes out there for your Agent to hear and acknowledge.
Are you ready to complete your Power of Attorney forms, or do you have questions about the process? We would love to help; our attorneys have years of experience drawing up estate plans for clients of all ages and situations. Give us a call to get started today.