Part of making your estate plan is making sure that you have end-of-life plans in place so your loved ones know how to care for you if you can’t speak up for yourself. One thing that you need to do is to set up the power of attorney designations.
A power of attorney (POA) designation gives the person named the ability to make decisions on your behalf if you are incapacitated and unable to make those decisions on your own. Most likely, you will want to name someone to make financial decisions and someone to make medical care choices for you. One person can handle both tasks, but you can also name different people.
Who should you pick for power of attorney?
The individuals you pick are acting on your behalf. They must be able to think about what you’d do if you were able to act for yourself. The decisions that are made have to be in your best interests and not in anyone else’s interest.
Taking the time to discuss your wishes with the individuals you choose as your powers of attorney can help them if they’re called on to fulfill their role. The person who’s going to make medical choices for you, for example, should know the contents of your advance directives and your general feelings on the subject of long-term care and resuscitation. And, naturally, you should be comfortable discussing your finances with the person who holds your financial POA.
Making sure that your loved ones are taken care of is likely your primary focus. Your estate plan can provide the instructions for what’s going to happen after you pass away, as well as what needs to happen if you become incapacitated. Working with someone who’s able to help you establish the plan based on what’s best for you is important.