A durable power of attorney, known as a POA, is one of the most, if not the most, important documents in your estate plan. This document assigns a person as the representative who will act on your behalf if you are not able to do so. They may manage your business and financial transactions on your behalf.
Another kind of POA, a health care POA, is also known as your medical power of attorney. This person's job is different from a traditional power of attorney, because they are in control of your medical decisions if you can't make them for yourself. For example, if you are in a collision and are comatose, the medical POA has the right to make decisions regarding your care.
These POAs are of the utmost importance as you age and until you pass away. Once you pass away, the POA will be invalid and an executor must be assigned to the estate.
How do you choose a power of attorney?
You should choose your power of attorney based on a few things. These include:
- How well you can trust the person you're considering as your power of attorney
- How much free time the potential power of attorney has
- The person's education in medical care and treatment
- The potential POA's willingness to travel
- The potential POA's distance from you (out of state is usually too far)
- The person's willingness to do the job if asked
When it comes down to it, these two POAs have a lot of power over your estate and your health. You need to choose someone who has your best interests at heart for each position.