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What should I consider when selecting a power of attorney?

A power of attorney (POA) is a document that should form part of your estate planning toolkit. There are many different types of them, each with different purposes. One may allow you to appoint another individual to handle your finances. Another may allow you a designee to make medical decisions for you.

In either one of these situations, the person appointed to be your POA is able to choose for you if you don't have the capacity to do so yourself. That being said, choosing the right person to appoint as your POA is not an easy feat.

One of perhaps the most important factors you'll want to take into account when selecting who you want to be your POA is who you trust the most. It's true that you have to essentially pick someone that you trust with your life. he or she is going to be handling your finances and whether you live or die after all.

It may be beneficial if the person you select to be your POA possesses specialized expertise as well.

For example, the person you appoint to handle your financial affairs may be better suited for the role if he or she has been able to demonstrate that he or she has sound financial management skills in the past. If from all appearances he or she seems to be able to come up with lucrative investment strategies, then he or she may be ideal for the role.

The person you should appoint to the role of POA should be someone who lives within a reasonable driving distance of you so that he or she can easily step in on your behalf if necessary. The age and thus life experience of the POA shouldn't be underestimated either. A lot of good can come from asking someone who has managed investment portfolios or sold a home to handle your financial affairs.

While you may trust a family member more than you do someone who is unrelated, it may be best that the POA that you appoint is not a blood relative. That's because choosing one individual over another may create a sense of jealousy. Family members may disagree. This can cause a lot of unnecessary discord at a time in which business needs to get done.

If you're considering appointing someone to handle your health and financial affairs if you can't, then a Waltham lawyer can guide you in doing so.

Source: TE Wealth, "4 things to consider when choosing a power of attorney," Emerita Mercado, accessed May 18, 2018

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