When you choose someone to act on your behalf if you become incapacitated in the future, you allow them a great deal of power over your possessions or your health. The right person can provide support your health and finances, while the wrong person could put those important aspects of your life at risk. What should you look for when choosing an agent?
1. Are they knowledgeable in the area where they will make decisions?
While you may be close to various people, it is crucial to pick the best person for the task involved in a power of attorney. If you select an agent to manage your finances, for example, you will likely want to choose someone good with math and finance issues. When selecting someone to act on your behalf when making healthcare decisions, you should have confidence that they can navigate the healthcare system. It may also be essential to select someone who will seek guidance when they need additional information.
2. Will they carry out your wishes?
You should select someone who will keep those desires in mind when making decisions on your behalf. If you cannot speak for yourself, will this person make essential decisions the way you want them made? Do you trust them to keep your wishes in mind even if you disagree? If what you want is not an option, will they follow your wishes as much as possible when exploring alternatives?
3. Do you trust them?
As the American Bar Association notes, the person you select should have your trust. A power of attorney provides them with a great deal of opportunity, and you want to choose someone who will not take advantage of the situation for their own benefit.
By selecting a trustworthy agent, you can have confidence that your finances and your health will have the protection they need.