All adults should have an estate plan in place, but many don’t realize that they need to get their power of attorney designations handled right away. These designations give someone the legal ability to make decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated.
You’re going to need someone to make medical decisions for you and someone to make financial decisions. One person can do both or you can choose two different people to hold your powers of attorney over these issues. As you’re considering who to name, think about these important points:
Who will follow your wishes and resist pressure from others?
You need someone who can stand up for your wishes, even if they face backlash. The person doesn’t have to be aggressive but they shouldn’t give in when a relative is being pushy because they have definite feelings about what should happen with your care or finances. They also shouldn’t try to do anything self-serving. Instead, they need to do what you would want. Their wishes for the situation shouldn’t ever come to mind when they make decisions.
Who lives close enough to you to be ready in a crisis?
Some decisions will have to be made in person. The person who’s your power of attorney should live within driving distance of you so they can go to make those decisions. This is especially important if there’s an emergency situation. They need to be trustworthy and able to make logical decisions even if their emotions are heightened due to an emergency situation.
Being able to decide who’s going to make medical or financial decisions for you is an important step in you ensuring that your wishes will be followed. You never know when this appointment will need to be called into effect. Take the time now to establish this as part of your comprehensive estate plan.