When you plan for the end of your life, you have several matters to consider. You need to appoint someone to make medical decisions for you if you become unable to make them for yourself, and you will also want someone to make your financial decisions if necessary. You may choose a separate person for each if you wish. When you are choosing an agent for your power of attorney, you need to consider several things.
Many people choose one of their children to receive both financial and medical power of attorney. If you have an only child, your choice may be a simple one. As long as your child does not object to the responsibility and has a history of making good financial and medical decisions, they are the right agent for you. If you have more than one child, you may run into jealousy issues. In this case, you may want to give one child the medical power of attorney and another the financial power of attorney. If you have more than two children, consider making one the executor of your will. As long as each child has a role in the important decision making, jealousy should be reduced or eliminated. If you still feel choosing your children will be a problem, consider picking a younger sibling or a trusted friend.
Whether relative or friend, the person you choose needs to be assertive. Anyone too mild mannered may not be able to fight for your wishes. Your POA agent needs to be able to carry out your orders in the face of emotional children, spouses, and friends. In addition, your POA agent has to be willing to stand up to medical professionals to make sure you get only the care you requested before you became ill or injured. Carrying out unpopular financial decisions can be just as stressful as the medical choices. Your agent or agents must be firm, decisive, and calm.
Choosing someone to carry out your financial and medical wishes is a tough and important decision, one that needs to be made well before you become incapacitated. Even young people should make their end-of-life choices clear. You may want to choose two agents, one for financial matters and one for health decisions. If you think your children or sibling can handle the responsibility, feel free to choose a relative. However, you may want to go outside of the family to find someone more objective. For assistance, talk to a lawyer like Edward G. Foster.
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