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Making the Right Choice for Your Power of Attorney

Choosing a power of attorney to handle your estate is one of the most important decisions you will make in life. Hopefully, your will was created early in life and it only needs to be updated when major life events occur. If not, now is the time to create your will and estate planning documents so that your family and your assets are protected once you are gone. Let’s take a look at how you can make the right choice for your power of attorney.

Someone You can Trust

One of the most important things to consider when choosing a power of attorney is if you trust that person. Trust is vital to this role. The person you choose must be trusted to carry out your wishes to the letter of the law. They must also be trusted to handle your assets and make sure they are distributed to the proper beneficiaries.

Ability to Consult with Professionals

The person you choose to be your power of attorney must feel comfortable speaking with professionals. The power of attorney has to speak with lawyers, doctors, accountants, financial planners and other professionals when carrying out the wishes outlined in your will and estate planning documents.

Of the Right Age

When you are trying to find the right person to serve as your power of attorney, you need to make sure they are of the right age. It is best to choose someone who is younger than you so that you do not have to wind up changing your will later in life if the original choice precedes you in death. This is the reason why most people choose an adult child, a niece or nephew, an adult grandchild or an acquaintance who is not of the same age. It is also important to choose two people for power of attorney, naming one of them an alternate.

Open to the Challenge

As you begin to narrow down the list of eligible candidates for power of attorney you should speak with your top choices. Have a conversation with each one privately to gauge their interest in this role. You need to find out now if your top choices will be hesitant to serve as power of attorney so you do not wind up picking someone who changes their mind after you die.

Understanding of Your Values

Aside from trust, it is important that the person you choose as power of attorney also has an understanding of your values. This is especially important when it comes to dealing with your children after your death if they have yet to reach adulthood. When a power of attorney understands your values, they will easily be able to understand your wishes and ensure that they are carried out to your liking.

Work with an Experienced Estate Planning Attorney

Do you have questions about your estate planning documents? Do you need to create a will or edit your current will? To ensure that you pick the right person for power of attorney or to have your estate documents updated, be sure to work with an experienced estate planning attorney. Contact the team at Moen Sheehan Meyer, Ltd. at 608-784-8310 today to schedule a consultation.

Published August 10, 2018
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