One of the most crucial decisions in California estate planning is designating a Power of Attorney (POA) to handle your medical, legal and financial affairs. You’ll want to choose someone with experience in these fields or the necessary qualities to handle life-changing decisions on your behalf.
Families have different dynamics, and choosing the right person for your POA can be challenging. In place of family, you can select someone who is a friend or a colleague. Consider these essential factors when making your choice.
Consider whether the person you choose has the requisite reliability and trustworthiness to adhere faithfully to the wishes outlined in your POA, even if they disagree. Before making a final decision consider whether the individual can handle the time-consuming and potentially exhausting responsibility.
Ability to communicate
While setting up your estate planning, you must have very open and frank discussions with any candidate under consideration for your POA. Ask the individual if they feel comfortable assuming this responsibility for you and whether they feel confident they can make tough decisions when needed on your behalf.
This person must be assertive, articulate and able to collaborate with accountants, attorneys, doctors and other relevant parties. They must also possess attention to detail, clearly understand their duties and commit to taking those duties seriously.
You can set up more than one POA to handle different parts of your estate planning affairs. You could designate individuals as POAs for different areas based on relevant experience in a given field or necessary qualities to make informed decisions.
For example, you can have your healthcare POA be someone with relevant medical knowledge. If you have significant business interests, choose a POA with a business or finance background who can understand the particulars of your business holdings.
Although choosing the best POA can be daunting, it is one of the most crucial decisions you can make for your estate planning.