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Use this guide to pick your powers of attorney

If the day ever comes when you aren't capable of making decisions for yourself, who do you want to make those decisions for you?

That's a big question. You're choosing who to give your powers of attorney to for medical and financial matters if they're ever needed (while simultaneously hoping that they aren't.) Whoever you pick, you need to be able to rely on that person to both know your values and be willing to adhere to them. In addition, the ideal power of attorney will:

  • Be trustworthy: You are trusting this person with control over your entire life. Make sure his or her moral character aligns with your own.
  • Be close: It won't do you much good if you take suddenly ill, and the person with your power of attorney is halfway across the world.
  • Be strong-willed: You want someone who can advocate for you and assert your wishes, even if they're unpopular with your other loved ones.
  • Be intelligent: Since this person may be medical decisions for you, you want someone who can competently weigh out the risks and benefits of a given procedure.
  • Be willing: Some people just aren't ready to make life-or-death decisions for anybody. You never want to assume someone is up to the responsibility without asking.
  • Be available: This can be a time-consuming task. You don't want to pick someone who is already overwhelmed with their own life.

When you decide who you want to hold your powers of attorney, sit that person down and have a frank discussion about what you expect, what the job entails and what problems you can anticipate.

This is just one of the many decisions you may face during your estate planning process. If you're unsure what you should do next, make a call to our office and discuss your situation.

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