When you create a power of attorney (POA), you have to name someone to be your agent or attorney in fact. The reason for creating your POA is to select the person who will to be in charge of decision-making for you when you cannot make your own choices. This decision of who to name as your agent is of utmost importance.
Parman and Easterday can help you determine who should be your agent when you create a power of attorney. Our dedicated legal team has helped many clients in Oklahoma City, Kansas City, and surrounding areas to make legally valid POAs to provide the protections they need. Let us help you create your power of attorney and select an agent you can trust.
Why It Is Important To Select The Right Agent When You Create a Power of Attorney
It is important to select the right agent because you are giving your agent a tremendous amount of responsibility. If you create a POA for incapacity planning, you give the agent authority to act and make decisions on your behalf. Since your agent can exercise this authority when you are incapacitated, you won’t be able to speak up if the person does not fulfill this role in the way you want.
While there are legal actions that can be taken against an agent who doesn’t properly perform duties under a power of attorney, it is complicated and costly to do so. To avoid the possibility of your family having to take legal action to make sure nothing bad happens to your assets, you want to choose wisely when selecting an agent.
Who Should Be Your Agent When You Create a Power of Attorney?
The American Bar Association (ABA) reports that many people select family members to act as their agent under a power of attorney. Spouses or children are commonly chosen. The only real requirements for someone to become an agent is that they are over 18 and not incapacitated by mental or physical illness. Outside of this, the ABA suggests that: “Integrity, not financial acumen, is often the most important trait of a potential agent.”
Ideally, you can find someone who is both trustworthy and competent in managing your affairs. If you have complicated investments or property that requires hands-on management and for which your agent will have to take responsibility, you need to ensure your agent has the ability to handle them.
The person you have chosen to act as your agent may be feeling grief and forced to assume responsibility under stressful circumstances when you are sick or hurt. You need someone who can take care of assets and make decisions in difficult situations.
The ABA also indicates that sometimes people name more than one agent when they create a power of attorney. If you take this route, you must be understand that problems can arise if co-agents do not agree. When you designate co-agents, specify whether you prefer the majority of them (or either, if only two) to act, even if there is not unanimous agreement among your co-agents.
Not only should you name your initial agent, but you should also designate a successor agent if the person you have named as your agent becomes unable to care for your assets or make decisions. Naming a successor agent allows you to retain control over who will protect you and your investments if your first choice of agent cannot act.
Getting Legal Help Creating a Power of Attorney
Parman and Easterday will assist you in determining when and how to create a power of attorney and in following all of the requirements to make sure your POA is valid when you need it. As part of the help we offer, we will provide you with advice on selecting your agent so you know you have chosen someone you can count on.
To find out more about how a power of attorney can help protect you and your assets, join us for a free seminar. You can also give us a call today at (405) 703-9987 or (913) 385-9400 or contact us online to speak with a member of our legal team and get the personalized advice you need.