You may be wondering: what is a power of attorney, who can have or make one, and who needs one. The power of attorney is a legal document that gives authority to someone to make decisions for the person who makes the power of attorney.
The person creating the power of attorney is called the Principal. The person the Principal chooses to make decisions for them is called the Agent. A power of attorney is a legal document where the Principal grants the Agent authority to act on the Principal’s behalf. This can be important in situations where the Principal is not able to make decisions for his or herself, to an illness or injury. In this blog post, we will discuss why you need a power of attorney and how to choose the right agent.
Why You Need a Power of Attorney
Life happens and may create a situation where having a power of attorney is invaluable. For example, if the Principal is not available to handle their financial affairs due illness, injury, or even travel outside of the country, the Agent will be able to handle the Principal’s financial affairs. A power of attorney is useful in estate planning, because the Agent will be able to honor the Principal’s wishes.
Choosing the Right Agent
Choosing the right agent is critical when creating a power of attorney. Your agent should be someone you trust to act in your best interests and follow your wishes. When choosing an agent, consider the following:
Trustworthiness: Your agent should be someone you trust implicitly. They should be honest, reliable, and able to manage your affairs responsibly.
Availability: Your agent should be available when needed.
Competence: Your agent should have the knowledge and skills necessary to handle your affairs effectively.
Shared values: Your agent should share your values and be willing to follow your wishes even if they do not agree with them.
It is important to discuss your wishes with your agent and make sure they understand your expectations. You should also choose a backup agent in case your first choice is unable to act.
If you are located in Alaska and need assistance with creating a power of attorney, I encourage you to reach out to the Law Office of Constance A. Aschenbrenner. As an experienced estate planning attorney, Connie Aschenbrenner can help you create a power of attorney that meets your unique needs and goals. You can also sign up for one of her workshops at https://akwillstrusts.com/events/ to learn more about powers of attorney and other estate planning tools.