How to Choose a Power of Attorney You Trust

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As you get older, you find yourself faced with many major and essential questions. From selecting beneficiaries in your will to ensuring your life insurance will provide adequate financial support to your loved ones, getting older requires making serious decisions. One of the most essential choices you need to make involves the selection of your power of attorney.

Whoever you choose as your power of attorney will be granted the power to handle financial and legal matters on your behalf. This means that selecting the right power of attorney requires careful consideration and the assistance of a professional.

The Types of Power of Attorney

As you contemplate assigning somebody with power of attorney of your affairs, you should first understand that power of attorney can be delegated in three different ways: durable, conventional, and springing. If your goal is to elect a person to begin handling your affairs once your ability ceases, then a springing power of attorney is the best option.

  • Springing power of attorney: Becomes effective once you are deemed incapacitated.
  • Durable power of attorney: Provides your “agent” with the privileges necessary to take care of business and financial matters on your behalf. It becomes effective immediately upon signing, unless you choose to revoke it in the future.
  • Conventional power of attorney: Different because it only becomes ineffective if you become incapacitated for any reason. This isn’t helpful if your purpose for electing a power of attorney is to ensure that your affairs are still managed in the case of your injury or death.

Tips For Choosing your Power of Attorney

The most common people selected for power of attorney include spouses, close relatives, and children. Since an elected power of attorney has control over bank accounts, bill payments, taxes, insurance policies, stock portfolios, real estate agreements, and other critical financial matters, it is important that you select a person whom you trust to properly and effectively make such decisions.

It is also vital that you consider a secondary power of attorney, especially if your preferred power of attorney is older. If you do not select a power of attorney before you become incapacitated, your family will have to ask a court to designate a guardian to oversee your financial and legal business, which can become a messy and frustrating situation.

It is always helpful to utilize the help of a legal professional like Kimberly K. Muenter as you select and assign your power of attorney. As Tampa’s premier estate planning and elder law lawyer, Attorney Muenter can answer all of your questions and help you ensure that your financial and legal matters are secured and protected. Call 941.567.1671 to get started today.