What Should I Consider While Naming a Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney is someone who will take charge of your finances and your medical decisions if you suffer incapacitation. This is an important person to select since the wrong POA could not only make poor decisions on your behalf, but family members might litigate your POA as a result.

According to Kiplinger, there are some things you should keep in mind while deciding which person should be your power of attorney.

Choosing according to age

If you are young or middle age, choosing someone like your spouse to be your POA may not be an issue. However, if you are a senior citizen and you have no living spouse, you might want to consider someone who is younger than you. Otherwise, you might end up with a POA who dies before you need help or becomes sick or suffers mental decline and cannot assist you.

Choosing among your children

If you have adult children, you might want one of them to be your POA. Before you settle on one of your children, look at their finances. One of them might have fallen on hard times and is counting on an inheritance to help him or her out. As your POA, your financially struggling child might not spend enough money for your care in order to preserve it for an inheritance.

Choosing a second spouse

If your family is a blended family, your situation may be more complicated. You might have a new wife or husband and want your new spouse to be your POA. However, you should know if your adult children from your prior marriage are fine with this decision. Some blended families end up in court because adult children do not accept the new spouse as a POA.

The potential for this kind of conflict may necessitate conversations with your children about your POA pick. If you insist on your new spouse as a POA, you might stand a chance of minimizing conflict by taking your children’s concerns into account.

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