How can I be cautious with a power of attorney?

On Behalf of | Mar 18, 2021 | Estate Planning

A power of attorney can protect you and your estate if you become unable to make decisions for yourself. It is a handy tool, but in the wrong hands, it can be dangerous. 

Business Standard explains that you should be careful and cautious when choosing the agent for your power of attorney. 

Trust

Above all else, you should trust your agent completely. This is someone who will have complete control over your life, so you have to be able to trust that he or she will make the same decisions that you would make or at least make good decisions on your behalf. You need to know he or she will not misuse the power. 

Openness

Ideally, the person you choose should be someone with whom you can be completely open and honest. You need to discuss every potential situation and your wishes. The person should be able to handle talking about serious issues and situations that could occur and be willing to seriously consider what he or she would do in those situations. 

Power

Despite knowing the person well and being completely confident he or she will handle the power properly, you should also take time to determine how much power you wish to give your agent. There are some things you may wish to leave to legal documents, such as your will. For example, you may not want to give the agent the power to sell property you own. The power you grant is your last defense to protect yourself and your heirs from an agent that does not act according to your wishes.