Most people focus on their assets when they’re creating an estate plan. There’s another component of estate planning that you need to think about when you’re trying to get everything together. This has to do with taking care of your affairs if you’re incapacitated.
There are two power of attorney designations that you need to set up. One is for medical care, and the other is for finances. You can name the same person for each of these, or you may name a different person for each.
Who should you name as a power of attorney?
The person you name for each of these powers of attorney can make decisions on your behalf. The person who is your health care power of attorney can make all the medical decisions that need to be made. The financial power of attorney ensures that your bills are paid and take care of your assets. Because they can do all the things you’d normally do, you must ensure you have the right people named.
- Proximity: Ideally, the person who you name in the power of attorney will live relatively close to you so they can be present when there are decisions to make.
- Decision making: Your power of attorney designee must be able to make decisions based on what you’d want because their own thoughts about things shouldn’t come into the picture.
- Attitude: You need someone who’s able to stand firm to ensure that your wishes are followed.
One thing that you may consider is meeting with the person or people you’re naming in the power of attorney. This is your chance to relay your wishes to them and for them to ask you questions about what you want. Remember, the power of attorney designations only last until you pass away.