Authorize someone to make decisions on your behalf
Appoint an agent should you become incapacitated
Decide who can make choices for your children
Provide someone with authority to make decisions
Grant authority to someone for a specific task
Name someone to handle matters in your absence
Appoint someone to act on your behalf
Appoint someone to make medical decisions for you
Appoint someone to manage your mental health care
Specify your mental health wishes and an agent
FAQs about appointing a power of attorney
Agents manage and have access to your finances. It is important that you choose someone you can trust completely. The person should be discreet, responsible and organized. It can be a family member or trusted friend. If you have a large estate, you may even choose to appoint your accountant or lawyer to act as your agent.
Agents are responsible for your financial responsibilities including investments, bank transactions, insurance, claims and litigations, family obligations (child support, alimony or palimony, tuition), military retirement payments, social security payments, bills and debt payments, and taxes.
While agents may not be responsible for making medical decisions for you, they may be the ones to make sure your medical bills and health insurance are paid.
Your appointed agent is to act on your best behalf. This means you should choose someone that understands what your best interests are and how you might act in presented situations. If they should make a minor judgment error, it is usually forgiven. But if they begin to act recklessly or against your best interest, they could potentially lose their Power of Attorney (POA) by court decision.
The document itself outlines many of the agent's responsibilities and expectations. You should discuss these obligations with them before finalizing the documents. If you or they don't feel they can meet your expectations, you may need to choose another agent. If you end up appointing your accountant or lawyer, you need to ensure you set aside enough money to pay their fees.
Power of Attorney (POA) documents are used to appoint someone to take care of your financial affairs when you cannot. The appointed person can legally manage your financial obligations if you become incapacitated. You can decide how much control you want to give them and what you consider to be "incapacitated." You can also appoint a POA if you are healthy, but don't want to, or have the time to, manage your own finances.
A person appointed with Limited Power of Attorney can act on your behalf for a specific transaction or for a limited amount of time.
A General POA appoints someone to have general authority to manage nearly any aspect of your finances, including writing checks and taking distributions from your investments.
Springing POAs "spring" into action when certain circumstances are met, such as when you become incapacitated.
If you have not added a Digital Assets Addendum to your Will, your accounts will be active long after your death. Most online social media accounts do have procedures for your family to follow after you pass to close or memorize your profiles. But they may not even know which accounts you have or think to shut them down. So, it is best if you appoint someone to manage your digital assets.
You'll want to choose someone you can trust with your personal information while you are alive and after you pass. The Digital Assets Addendum will include:
Other digital assets to think about include information stored on your mobile phone, external hard drives, and computer hard drives. You can include in the addendum to your Will how you want these digital assets to be managed. You may choose to have them archived or erased completely.