When you set up your estate plan, you should also include a legal, financial and healthcare power of attorney. This can be one person, or you can choose separate individuals for these roles.
Because these individuals could gain control over your finances, legal affairs and your very life, you should choose them carefully. These are things to look for in a power of attorney candidate.
When you choose someone who will handle your legal matters, money and medical care, you need to find someone you trust. These individuals should have integrity. They should always act upon your desires, placing you first in the decisions they make on your behalf. Choose those who understand what you want and why.
Strength of will
Acting as a power of attorney requires significant responsibility. It is a demanding position, so choose someone who can handle the duties and is unafraid to speak up and make sure they prioritize your wishes. These individuals also need to have strong communication skills so they can clearly and concisely provide direction and argue your case. They have to be strong enough not to buckle under the pressures of your family and others in your life who may think they know better.
Choose individuals who have education, experience and extensive knowledge about the process they will oversee. For example, choose someone familiar with medical processes to handle your healthcare decisions and someone with a legal background to take on your legal duties. You do not need a doctor, lawyer and financial advisor, but make sure they can navigate these areas adeptly.
As you finalize your power of attorney decisions, consider the location and convenience of these individuals. Also, do not forget to ask whether they have the time and willingness to serve in these positions.