When choosing someone to be your agent through a power of attorney, it’s important to have the right person for the role. It’s common to pick a close family member, and this may be best, but you still want to carefully consider the traits you’re searching for.
There are two different types of powers of attorney: Legal and medical. The person you pick may be the same, but they don’t have to be, and it’s often wise to choose different individuals based on the traits most necessary for the job they’ll have to do.
5 things your agent needs
To get you started, here are five things you want to find in the agent you select:
- Absolute trust. You need to trust them to make decisions that only you would make otherwise.
- Willingness to do the job. If someone doesn’t want to be the agent, they’re the wrong choice, even if you think they’re perfect for it.
- The ability to talk to each other about sensitive and personal topics. Nothing can be off the table regarding health, medical care, finances and things of this nature.
- The technical ability to do the job. They may need to take complex actions on your behalf or make difficult decisions, and you need to know that they’re able to do it.
- Proximity. You don’t know when something will happen that means you need your agent, so it should be someone relatively close to you, who can respond quickly.
Now that you know what to look for, take a moment to consider the legal steps that are necessary to set everything up.