One of the critical decisions you need to make during the creation of your estate plan is who to designate as your agent(s)? Who do you want to make financial decisions on your behalf? Who do you want to make health care decisions on your behalf? This is not an easy decision, nor is it one you should take lightly.
The people you pick to act on your behalf are called "Agents" - they work for you, for your benefit. The legal documents that grant the agents their power is what defines how much or how little power each agent has. The attorney drafting the documents will work to meet your needs and wishes in the grant of power, but the selection of the agent is a personal decision that rests with you.
When selecting your agents, some factors to consider include:
- Ability of the person to act for you, when you need them to
- Comfort that the person will act in the way you want
- Is that person willing to be your agent?
- How well do you know you the person?
- How well does the person know you?
- In financial matters, how good is the person with figures and calculations?
- In health care matters, can the person balance the emotions of the situation with adherence to your desires?
- Are there other influences (such as a sibling or spouse) that would impact the person's ability to adhere to your desires?
The bottom line is: Do you trust the person to act in your best interest, when you are unable to act for yourself?
When you select a person who you trust to be your agent, you will have the peace of mind that the plan you have put together will be executed in your best interest!
About Morris Hall:
At Morris Hall, we have focused our legal practice on estate planning for over 40 years. Along with estate planning, our attorneys help clients and their families with matters of probate, trust administration, wills, powers of attorney, business planning, succession planning, legacy planning, charitable gifting and other important legal aspects. We also have divisions in financial, real estate and accounting to help you incorporate all of your planning together, ensuring that everything works perfectly for your needs and situation. Our Arizona offices are located in Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Tucson, Prescott, Flagstaff and Arrowhead. Our New Mexico offices are located in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe. Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!
Contributed by Attorney James P. Plitz
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