As you enjoy your retirement and begin looking towards your future, estate planning is an important concern. You need to consider how you want to manage your affairs as you age, and in particular, how you want your affairs handled after your death, or in the event you are no longer able to make decisions for yourself.
There are several ways in which you may become incapacitated or unable to carry out your wishes. These are cases in which you should have a power of attorney in place so that the person you designate can make decisions in your stead.
What is power of attorney?
A power of attorney consists in naming a person you choose as the one who has the ability to make decisions for you if you are no longer able to do so. Choosing a power of attorney is clearly an important decision, given that person’s direct impact on your decisions and your life when you are in a vulnerable position. That is why it is crucial that you make the right choice when you decide whom to designate. Choosing a power of attorney is increasingly important in an age when diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia are on the rise.
How to choose a power of attorney
When you are deciding whom to choose as a power of attorney, you must determine the person you trust that also makes the most sense based on your current life circumstances. For example, if you are married and relatively young, and therefore further away from the possibility of an end-of-life disease or situation, you can choose your spouse as power of attorney. If you are a senior citizen, however, and perhaps your spouse is no longer an option, you may wish to designate one of your children. If you do not have children, then you should determine a person you can choose as power of attorney with whom you have a high level of trust.
Many people do not consider these types of decisions before it is too late and they no longer have the capacity to make the choice. The best course of action is to start early and consult with an attorney who can assist you in setting up a power of attorney, which can grant you peace of mind in the later years of your life.