Estate Planning & Probate Specialists

Estate Planning & Probate Specialists

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What traits should you consider in a power of attorney agent?

Putting someone in charge of your personal affairs in the event that you cannot act for yourself is an important but difficult task. Anyone could suffer a serious illness or injury that results in incapacitation, and knowing that a trustworthy and responsible person is in the position to make decisions for you could bring a great deal of peace of mind.

Of course, you may not immediately know who should take on such an important role or who would even want to. It is vital that your chosen candidate is willing to act as your power of attorney agent because it could involve making some immensely difficult decisions at times, depending on the circumstances.

Who would make a good candidate?

In addition to having a willingness to act as a power of attorney agent, you may want to look at other characteristics that could work well for this role. Someone with the following traits could be an ideal candidate for this important position:

  • Trustworthy: Because your power of attorney agent will have access to your financial, medical and other personal information, you want someone who is trustworthy.
  • Assertive: In some cases, other family members or outside parties may try to pressure an agent to make a certain decision. Your agent needs to stand firm and be assertive when it comes to upholding your wishes.
  • Articulate: Some people get easily overwhelmed, and they may have a difficult time verbally communicating important messages. An ideal agent will be someone articulate and who can clearly communicate even when a difficult situation has arisen.
  • Knowledgeable: Your agent may be in a position where he or she needs to make important medical decisions on your behalf, and having some knowledge of medical procedures could certainly come in handy.

In addition to these characteristics, it is also wise to have an agent who lives close by. You do not want to end up in a medical emergency and not have a power of attorney nearby who can act quickly.

Are you ready to make a choice?

If you believe you have the right person in mind and he or she agrees, remember that simply discussing the matter with the person is not enough. Your agent does not have any decision-making authority unless you file the correct legal paperwork. Fortunately, an experienced Texas attorney could help you draft and file this important legal document and more.