When you create a power of attorney, either durable or springing, you will name an attorney in fact to handle your affairs if you should become mentally disabled or physically incapacitated. The duties of your attorney in fact, also called an agent, include managing your assets, receiving income on your behalf, paying bills, investing your money and signing documents for you. There are five factors to consider when choosing your attorney in fact.
An attorney in fact must be an adult. Beyond this fact, you may want to consider an older agent for reasons of maturity, but you should also name a back-up agent, in case an elderly attorney in fact is unable to perform the required duties.
It is best to choose an attorney in fact who lives near you. Since this person will have to manage your finances on a regular basis, close proximity is a plus. This allows your chosen agent to act quickly on any issues that arise. Your selected person must also have the time needed to perform all duties. If he or she has a busy work and home life and cannot fulfill the responsibilities, your finances may suffer.
Your attorney in fact must be very organized to manage all of your assets, pay bills on time and handle any investments you have. As you narrow your agent choices down, focus on family members who easily manage their finances. These people should be among your first choices.
It would be wise to choose an attorney in fact who has an expertise in the financial arena. This person may be able to help your investments grow and allow for more income to pay high medical bills and provide expensive long term care.
You should know your chosen attorney in fact quite well. You should also be able to trust him or her to perform all duties and to do so with your best interest in mind.
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