Naming an individual to serve as a power of attorney on your behalf is an important part of the estate planning process. Unlike crafting a will – which concerns your interests in the event of your death – this effort will allow you to protect your interests in the event that you are incapacitated by a traumatic injury or an aggressive medical condition and can no longer advocate for yourself.
When approaching the process of designating power of attorney authority, it is important to consider the scope of the responsibility that you are extending to a trusted loved one or colleague. Depending on your unique needs, you may benefit from designating more than one person to serve in a power-of-attorney role on your behalf.
General, medical, financial
There are three primary kinds of power of attorney designations that someone can make within the context of an estate plan. A general power of attorney allows someone to make a variety of decisions on your behalf. From medical to financial, business to management of digital assets, you can define the scope of this authority to be as broad or as narrow as you wish.
By contrast, you can also designate someone to serve as a financial power of attorney in order to take care of your assets, bills, property, etc. You can then designate someone else to serve as a medical power of attorney. This individual will have the authority to make decisions that are not explicitly addressed in your living will.
Entrusting someone to make decisions in your best interests if/when you are ever incapacitated is not an insignificant process. Speaking with an experienced legal professional about your concerns can help to ensure that you make informed decisions about your options.