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Assigning the right power of attorney for your needs

Although discussing your own incapacitation is difficult, it is important to designate a power of attorney to oversee your financial and legal matters while you are still physically and mentally capable of doing so.

Most types of power of attorney allow you to handle your own affairs until you become unable to. Below are three potential candidates to choose to act as your power of attorney agent.

Spouse

Trustworthy spouses in good health generally make good power of attorney agents. In the event that your spouse displays signs of incapacitation before you do, you can choose a child or other relative as substitute power or attorney.

Reliable progeny

Dependable children are often designated as their parent’s power of attorney. If you prefer spreading out the responsibility, consider naming some or all of your children as co-agents. This allows anyone named to conduct banking and other financial transactions on your behalf. A downfall of using multiple agents is that disputes about your affairs could wind up in court. To avoid this, consider appointing one agent for your finances and another for your medical decisions.

Close relative or friend

If a spouse or child is not an option for you, contemplate assigning another relative or close friend as your power of attorney agent. Someone who lives nearby is best as it will allow the person to control your affairs in a timely manner with minimal inconvenience to the individual.

Before making final determinations about assigning power of attorney rights, understand the rights your designated agent will have over your financial and medical decisions. Ultimately, you should choose someone dependable, responsible and honest.

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