It is always a good feeling to have someone in life who offers encouragement, support and assistance in time of need. Especially in a time of crisis or health emergency, having a strong support system in place is a tremendous help. This type of support is often incorporated into an estate plan, in the form of a power of attorney.
Giving someone power of attorney in connection with health care is an important decision. This person will be able to make decisions about end-of-life care and other issues specified by the person bestowing the power. This type of power of attorney typically comes into play when the person granting the power becomes incapacitated.
Who would provide the best representation?
It might feel natural to select someone to have power of attorney based on a close relationship, such as a friend of many years or the eldest child. Relationship alone, however, does not necessarily mean the person in question would carry out the duties assigned through power of attorney in an effective manner. Therefore, it is helpful to choose someone who is trustworthy, who will make sure decisions reflect the personal wishes discussed ahead of time or written in an estate plan by the estate owner.
It is also wise to give power of attorney to someone who can be assertive in stressful situations. This is a person who may be working with medical teams and family members, etc., to ensure that the patient’s wishes are honored. Signing a power of attorney and other estate planning documents is best done under consultation with an experienced estate law attorney.