Choosing an agent for your power of attorney is one of the most important decisions for you to make when it comes to creating a solid estate plan for yourself. A power of attorney, also known as a durable power of attorney, authorizes someone to act as your agent in making financial decisions for you in case you aren’t able to do so yourself. If you become incapacitated in some way then this person would pay your bills, take care of your assets and basically attend to any other financial matters for you.
So what should you think about when choosing someone for this very important task?
First of all, you need to choose someone you trust completely. This person is going to have a tremendous amount of power when acting on your behalf, so you need to be absolutely sure he or she will always act in your best interests when it comes to handling your financial affairs.
Second, you need to choose someone who is at least 18 years old, because that is required by law in Texas. And you may want to choose someone younger than you, so that there will be a better chance that your designated agent will still be fully capable of making these important decisions for you when you get to an age when you aren’t able to do so.
Third, you need to choose someone who is good at making financial decisions in general. If someone cannot even manage their own finances very well, then they probably wouldn’t make a very good agent for you. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, so some people have this skill set and some don’t.
Fourth, you really should choose someone who lives near you. If your agent lives far away then it’s going to be really hard for him or her to do a good job of taking care of your financial affairs, no matter how trustworthy and competent they are.
Fifth, the person you choose should ideally understand how you feel about things in general when it comes to money and how you would want your finances handled.
Having said all this, if some time in the future you don’t think your designated agent is the right person any longer, you always have the ability to revoke the power of attorney and designate someone else as your agent in another power of attorney document.