The only thing more important than having a power of attorney in place, is who you choose to represent you and carry out your wishes in the event of incapacitation. A power of attorney, or POA, is a legal document drawn up by your attorney to give authority to someone else to act and make decisions in health, financial and legal matters. This person should ensure that, should you become unable to act on your own behalf, any pre-planned requests you may have made are put into motion.
It is imperative that you choose the right person to act as your agent, and choosing someone with the following characteristics will help give you the peace of mind you need.
Someone Close To You
Most people who are seeking a POA choose someone close to them—like a spouse, relative or good friend. This person is normally familiar with your situation, as well as your prearranged preferences. It’s also important to choose someone close to you, physically, as well. If a medical emergency were to arise, having a POA who can make it to the hospital quickly could make a huge difference in your treatment and care.
Someone You Trust
When it comes to selecting your POA, it is more important than ever to select someone who you trust to carry out your wishes. Consider their characteristics and values, and how likely they are to follow through on the demands you’ve set before them. You do not want to choose someone who will disobey your requests.
Someone Who is an Effective Communicator
In certain medical situations, clear and decisive communication is vital. It’s not only important to choose a POA who can communicate effectively, but they also need to be able to handle high-pressure situations. Certain medical situations can become stressful very quickly, and a quick decision can make all the difference in patient outcome.
Having a POA who is not easily swayed by outside opinions can make all the difference in the world. You will want someone who can effectively stand their ground, even when it’s unpopular, to carry out your wishes.
Choosing a POA is a very important part of estate planning. To learn more about how you can establish a power of attorney or to address any other topic related to estate planning, do not hesitate to contact Caress Law either by calling (503) 292-8990 or using the contact form on our website.