When creating your estate plan, one vital element is giving someone the ability to control your finances if you become incapacitated. Otherwise, you could leave your family wondering how they will pay your health care bills because they cannot access your funds.
You might want more than one power of attorney
Some people give one person power of attorney over all of their affairs. Others prefer to choose the right person for each particular task that might be needed.
What should you look for in a financial power of attorney?
Allowing the wrong person control of your finances could have disastrous consequences for you and your family. Here are some things to consider:
- Trustworthy: This is the most important of all. There is no point having a financial whiz kid if they then steal everything.
- Good with figures: As much as you trust someone, if they struggle with basic math, they will find it hard to do the job well.
- Calm: While your brother may be a genius at making money on the poker table, you might be better off choosing someone less likely to take unnecessary risk, someone thorough and detail-orientated.
- Available: Ideally, you want someone who can pop into the local bank branch if needed and is not too busy to dedicate the time required. If your sister is an accountant but has moved to Australia, the time difference and distance would make it hard to fulfill the job.
When you decide upon the correct person to act as a financial power of attorney, you need to register them in the proper legal manner. Mistakes in the documentation could leave them incapable of acting on your behalf.