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What should you know about power of attorney designations?

On Behalf of | Jun 3, 2024 | Estate Planning |

There are many considerations that must be taken into account when you’re setting up an estate plan. While many of these challenges concern what will happen after you pass away, there are also some that come into the picture if you become incapacitated due to illness, injury or age.

You can give someone the ability to make medical or financial decisions for you if you can’t make them for yourself. One person can make all these decisions for you or you can have a different person to handle each area of concern. Remember, these individuals only take care of your affairs until you can make decisions for yourself again or until you pass away.

Duties for a medical power of attorney

The person who takes care of your medical decisions will work closely with your medical care team. They must follow the directions you have in your advance directives, which are written instructions about the care you’re willing to receive and what care you refuse.

Duties for a financial power of attorney

The person who has power over your finances can take care of everything you’d normally do. This includes paying your bills and managing investments, so you should choose someone who has some financial knowledge and who understands your financial position. These powers will transition to the person who’s over your estate when you pass away.

Special considerations when choosing the designee

One of the most important things to remember when you’re deciding who to name is that they must be able to make decisions that are in your best interest without thinking about their own desires. It’s helpful if they know what your wishes are while you can still relay those to them, so having a meeting to talk to them about this might be best.

Power of attorney designations are only small parts of your estate plan. Working with a legal representative who understands your desires and can help you set everything up can reduce your stress as you get your overall plan in place.