Who Should Be Your Power of Attorney?
Who is your agent under your Florida durable power of attorney? The selection of the agent you will name in your power of attorney is a critical decision to make. Since it is such an important decision, it is one that you will want to take time to think about, understanding the responsibilities involved before you select a person to act for you.
Your agent, under your power of attorney, is someone that you elect to make life-altering decisions for you that usually involve your estate. The purpose of this estate planning tool is for you to give legal authority to another person so he or she may act on your behalf if you are unable to do so due to for any reason whatsoever. In Florida, however, the power of attorney is ready to use the minute you sign it. This is a significant responsibility on you and the person you name as your agent; therefore, you want to choose someone who you know you can trust.
Before you choose your agent for your power of attorney, you need to ask yourself these challenging questions:
1. Does this person make responsible decisions? You do not want to choose someone who cannot make responsible decisions in his or her own life, because odds are, this person will not make responsible decisions for you. Be observant of this person’s decisions with finances, family, and other important aspects.
2. Can you trust this person to make wise decisions regarding your estate? Choosing someone who is trustworthy and will not take advantage of you is extremely important when making this decision. You want to feel like you are in the best of hands when choosing your agent under your power of attorney.
3. Will this person allow his or her emotions to influence their decisions in regard to your best interests? Sometimes our emotions get the best of us. When you are choosing your agent for power of attorney, you want to select someone who can make thoughtful, rational decisions, that are not determined solely by feelings. This may mean you choose someone who is outside of your family or name a successor who is not a family member. For example, a close friend or colleague who you know well.
When you are creating your power of attorney with your attorney, consider these questions, and make sure you can answer them in a way that will make sure you are protected under this estate planning tool. If conflict arises after you choose your agent for power of attorney, make sure that you update the document immediately with your attorney, and select someone else as soon as possible. Need help getting started? Contact us to schedule a meeting about your Florida estate plan with Attorney Amy McGarry. Contact Us