FAQs About Power of Attorney

As you get older, you may be concerned about who will make end-of-life decisions for you. You may have a certain relative or friend you trust completely that you would like to designate to take on this role. Fortunately, there is a legal system in place to allow you to do this. You can choose a certain person to make decisions on your behalf if you are disabled or ill and unable to make the decisions for yourself.

  1. What Is Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney is an individual, often a close family member, that you can designate to make decisions in your place if you are unable to due to circumstances like mental disability or being in a coma. This is especially important to have for end-of-life care, as this person will be able to carry out your decisions in regards to what care and resuscitation methods you want to allow. It is important that you and your power of attorney have a lengthy discussion about your wishes so that he or she can carry them out.

  1. How Do I Choose a Power of Attorney?

Choosing a power of attorney is a big decision, and it should not be taken lightly. Be sure that you choose someone who you can trust to follow your desires for your healthcare and financial matters of your estate. You can choose a son or daughter, spouse, cousin, sibling, or close friend. Always ask the person if they are comfortable taking on this role before assigning it to them. You can contact an estate planning attorney to officially make this person your legal power of attorney.

  1. Can I Change My Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney can be changed for numerous reasons. You can change it yourself, a court can overrule it, or the person can become unable to carry out the duty. In this situation, it is wise to have a backup person to assign the status to. This is something that you can discuss with your estate planning attorney to finalize.

Choosing a power of attorney is a serious decision, but it is a necessary one. Consider who you want to carry out these important decisions for you, and have a discussion with him or her about assuming these responsibilities. A lawyer, like an estate planning lawyer can be an invaluable asset in setting up a power of attorney for yourself and your estate.