Who has your power of attorney (POA)? Your spouse? Who else? What happens if you are in a car accident and cannot perform as POA for each other? Choosing a power of attorney can be a difficult, but certainly necessary task.
Trust is the key thought in this case. This person will likely be the one who not only makes your legal choices, but may very well be the one making your financial and medical decisions also. It has to be someone that you can trust to always put your best interests ahead of their own. If you have any doubts, keep on looking. Try not to settle for someone just because they are convenient.
Here are things to think about when choosing a POA
- Education – not just book learning, but life experience. Have they conducted their own personal affairs effectively.
- Have you asked this person for advice before?
- Consult with others who know the person in a different way than you do. The more people you can check with the better.
- Do you have a mutual acquaintance who has already performed well as POA?
- Put the important things to you in writing with specific instructions.
So who do you choose? Most people choose a family member or long time friend and usually do quite well with this arrangement. Remember, it comes down to trust.