The power of attorney document is an important aspect of any comprehensive estate plan. While a will protects your estate after you pass away, a power of attorney protects your interests and finances should you become unable to manage your affairs yourself. Your power of attorney gives significant authority and access to the individual you choose, so you should give careful consideration to your designation.
Many people want a close family member to be in charge of their affairs if they become incapacitated. For example, many spouses have the other one as their power of attorney. This can make sense because your spouse often knows your affairs better than almost anyone else. However, you need to make sure that you change your power of attorney if you get separated or divorced, as well as if your spouse becomes less capable of managing your affairs themselves.
You also might want to choose one of your adult children, though always ensure they are responsible and trustworthy. Too many people trust an oldest son or daughter with their affairs, only to have their child take advantage of their position and act in a self-serving manner. Your power of attorney should be financially responsible and free from gambling or substance addictions.
You can also hire a licensed lawyer or another professional to serve as your power of attorney. A POA owes you a fiduciary duty, which is the highest legal duty there is, so you can trust they will act in your best interests. Many people select an objective professional instead of someone they know closely.
Contact an Estate Planning Lawyer in California Today
Whether you choose a family member, close friend, or a professional as your power of attorney, a California estate planning attorney at Furubotten Law can assist you. Contact us to discuss your estate planning needs today.