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Characteristics of a good power of attorney agent

On Behalf of | Jun 17, 2024 | Estate Planning

Creating your estate plan takes a lot of thought. You have to think about who you want to get your assets when you die, but that’s not all you have to consider. End-of-life planning, including setting up power of attorney designations, is also important. 

A power of attorney is a document that gives someone besides you the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf. You’ll likely need a power of attorney for financial matters and another one for healthcare decisions. Understanding the qualities to look for in an agent for these may help you determine who to name for each. 

Willing to put your interests first

The individuals you name as your agents must be able to put their own desires aside and make decisions that reflect your wishes. They must be able to think logically and block out emotional decisions that could cause them to make a decision that you wouldn’t agree with. Talking to them about your wishes before they have to perform these duties may be beneficial so there’s no doubt about what you’d want them to do.

Lives close to you

While this isn’t a firm requirement, it’s a lot easier for someone to act as your agent if they live within a reasonable distance from you. This is because there might be some duties that can only be carried out in person. 

Remember, the power of attorney designations typically go into effect if you’re incapacitated and will end when you pass away. Once you die, the person you choose to execute your estate becomes responsible for financial decisions. Learning more about these roles is essential to an effective estate plan.