A power of attorney, or POA, is a document that specifies the individual you have chosen to manage your affairs. The power of attorney document becomes official when it has been signed, unless you’ve specified different conditions, such as it not becoming official unless you’re incapacitated due to a medical emergency or incompetent due to a disease.
You should choose a POA who won’t exploit your bank account. Though they don’t personally take control of your money, they do have access to it, so choose someone who will be responsible with your money and other affairs. If you ever have a hospital stay, this person may have the responsibility of paying bills and dealing with insurance or other tasks you would normally do, so they should understand how you conduct your day-to-day life.
Selecting a power of attorney is no small task. This person may be a husband or wife, family member, or a close friend. Whoever you choose, it should be someone with whom you can put your complete trust. Talk with them before making it official, and make sure they understand what you’re asking of them. Come to an agreement that they’ll take care of your affairs in a responsible way and respect your wishes. Let them ask questions and give them time to consider what you’re asking of them, so you’re both on the same page.
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