July 12, 2016
What It Means To Be a Power of Attorney
Maybe someone you love is considering you for their power of attorney. Maybe you have already been elected as one. You may be a little concerned because that sounds like a very big responsibility and you are worried about what you are getting into. You might be a little bit concerned about what you are going to have to do for this person, no matter how much you really love them.
Basically as the power of attorney, you are going to be in charge of their money and all of their assets because they are unable to do so themselves. You must make sure that you are acting in their best interest and not yours because, at any time, they can ask you about what you are doing. The courts may also look into whether or not you are managing their money correctly. If not, there will be consequences.
Many powers of attorneys also handle the medical care of their loved ones. You may have to go to doctor appointments and help to make medical decisions, especially ones about life and death. You may have to make the difficult decision on whether or not your loved one wants extreme measures used to keep him alive. Be sure to discuss this with him before you get put in this position. Many people already know where they stand and just want you to follow their wishes.
If you are the power of attorney of someone who owns a business, you may be required to take care of the business. Be sure to understand how the business runs or at least learn enough about it while you can. You definitely need to meet the people that your loved one trusted who can keep the business running, if you are not interested (or able) to keep it going. If you don’t understand the business enough, you might recommend having a separate power of attorney for the business.
When you are assigned a power of attorney, it is put into a document. Written in the document may be other duties that are assigned to you. There may be times when there is a termination date. Make sure that your lawyer reads the fine print so that you know if you have any other duties that are going to be assigned to you.
You should be proud that you were chosen as a power of attorney. Someone that you loved trusted you with their health and their money. They believe that you will take care of them, just the way that they want. They trust you that much. They know that you will follow their wishes and do what they want, because you love them. They know that you are committed to them and know that they can discuss even the most uncomfortable things with you (like death and dying). You should be proud that they love you and trust you this much. It is an amazing responsibility.
Becoming a power of attorney might be scary. However, if you think about your loved one’s best interest, you will be fine. You will have to manage their money and assets, like you would your own. You may also have to go to their doctor’s appointments and help to make some medical decisions. You should also have your lawyer look over the document in case you have any additional duties assigned. Be sure to have any questions answered before you agree to become a power of attorney. You should always remember that you were chosen because your loved one really trusted you enough to be his power of attorney. He knew that you could do it and he believed in you. You will be a great power of attorney.
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