How Do I Choose My Power of Attorney?

August 18, 2018

Powers of attorney are important and powerful tools in the hands of a trustworthy person, but it can also be a dangerous tool in the hands of the wrong person, which is why you should consider carefully who and how you choose to give powers of attorney.

Power of Attorney

Power of attorney (POA) is a document where you authorize someone, often called an agent, to act on your behalf should you no longer be able to do so.

There are numerous reasons why one would establish a power of attorney, including military personnel prior to deploying overseas, or a young person who travels frequently, but the most common time to establish a power of attorney is for elderly people who may face a longer-term health crisis or other situation that may render them incapacitated. By giving someone powers of attorney, you authorize them to conduct legal and financial obligation on your behalf.

How to Choose a POA

The risks of naming someone as your POA should be readily obvious because the person you select will have access to and be able to make important decisions about your financial accounts, personal property, health, home, and business affairs.

It is imperative that this person be someone who you trust without hesitation, but not only that, this person should be responsible, attentive to detail, have an understanding of finances and in some cases, be able to communicate and collaborate with attorneys, accountants, medical professionals, and so forth, and is someone who understands their duties and is committed to taking those duties seriously.

If you are considering naming someone as your power of attorney but aren’t sure yet if they are the right person, it can be helpful to sit down and have a conversation with the person in order to discuss the duties and responsibilities that this could entail, and go over the scope of your financial, business, and legal affairs.

The last thing you want to do is to name someone as your POA who isn’t willing to take on those duties or responsibilities should the need arise.

Never forget that you are placing a great deal of power into your agent’s hands and they will have access to your financial assets during a time when you will probably not be cognizant of what they are doing. Sadly, we’ve seen too many cases where a child, sibling, or family friend has used their power of attorney for their own gain, rather than the principal’s benefit. Ultimately, you need to name someone that understands your wishes and your values and who has a demonstrated loyalty to you and your well-being.

There are also different types of authority that you may give to the agent, which is why it is crucial that you speak with a lawyer regarding the appropriate authority and designation of a POA.

The law firm of Fears Nachawati has helped many Texans grapple with these important considerations, and we take the time to meet with families and elderly clients in order to make sure we fully understand their wishes and needs so we can guide them in the right direction.

Naming a power of attorney isn’t a decision you should take lightly, and we’re here to help. If you are in need of legal services in the great state of Texas, then you should speak to the team at Fears Nachawati. We offer a free, no obligation consultation in order to discuss the specifics of your needs and how we can be of help to you.

Contact us today at (866) 705-7584 to schedule your appointment at one of our Texas offices in Houston, Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, or San Antonio.

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