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How to Choose Your Power of Attorney

 Posted on January 18, 2019 in Estate Planning

DuPage County estate planning attorneysWhen creating your estate plan, it is vital to choose the right person to be your power of attorney, or agent. Powers of attorney have a tremendous amount of responsibility when it comes to estate planning, so choosing a representative who is accountable and trustworthy is imperative. A power of attorney document allows you to authorize someone to act on your behalf if you cannot do so due to illness or other incapacitation. The authority given to a power of attorney is largely dependent upon the document’s language. For help drafting a power of attorney document or for other estate planning assistance, contact a qualified estate planning attorney.

Types of Powers of Attorney

A non-durable power of attorney is designed to provide only a temporary solution. This document can be custom-made to authorize your agent to complete specific transaction. For example, you could give authorization to another person to sign a document that requires your signature if you are unable to do so yourself for some reason. A non-durable power of attorney terminates when you lose the mental capacity. Alternatively, a durable power of attorney is a more permanent solution which stays in effect even if you become incapacitated and cannot manage your own financial affairs. Both types of power of attorney can be designed to give your agent the level of authority you feel comfortable with.

The two types of powers of attorney listed above apply to matters involving property. By comparison, a health care power of attorney gives your agent the authority to make medical decisions on your behalf if you cannot do so.

Choosing the Right Individual to be Your Personal Representative

Because a power of attorney potentially handles your financial affairs, you may want to choose someone who is highly accountable and has experience managing finances. Most experts suggest choosing a power of attorney who is trustworthy and unbiased, who fully understands the duties required of a power of attorney, and who is willing to fulfill those duties successfully. You may also want to choose someone who know you well and understands your values and desires.

Perhaps the most important quality a power of attorney must have is trustworthiness. Depending on your unique circumstances, your agent may be able to access your checking and savings accounts and have access to other important assets. It is critical that your power of attorney is someone you can trust.

Contact a Lombard Estate Planning Attorney for Help

Choosing the right estate planning tools can be overwhelming and complicated. Fortunately, the dedicated professionals at A. Traub & Associates can help. To speak with one of our experienced DuPage County estate planning attorneys, call 630-426-0196 today.


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