Durable Power of Attorney 101: Tips for Choosing an Agent
An important part of estate planning is establishing a durable power of attorney. This legal document nominates an agent who will act on your behalf, if you become ill or injured, and are unable to make decisions for yourself. This agent will be able to make medical decisions, financial decisions, or both. When selecting the person who is going to act as your agent, you should consider the following factors.
- Do you trust him/her? The most important factor to consider when picking your agent is choosing someone who you trust unconditionally. Since your agent will be acting on your behalf while you are incapacitated, you should trust this person fully to act in your best interest and carry out your personal wishes. Many people select a close friend, spouse, or child as their agent.
- How old is this person and where is he/she located? Even though it is not a requirement, it is preferable to choose an agent who lives close by-ideally in the same city. If something should happen to you suddenly, your agent would be able to step in quickly and act on your behalf. It is also important to not choose an agent who is much older or much younger, as an older person may predecease you, and a younger person may lack life experience to make decisions on your behalf.
- Will family dynamics come into play? Choosing one of your children to act as your agent is common for many people establishing their durable power of attorney. While this may work in some family situations, in others, it may cause tension to surface. Sibling rivalry may come into play and power struggles can causes many issues. If you would like to choose a member of your family to act as your agent, it is best to consult with your attorney first.
Be prepared for the future by choosing a durable power attorney as part of your estate plan. To work with an experienced estate planning attorney in Boca Raton, contact us at Rubino Findley, PLLC to schedule your free consultation.