How to Choose a Lasting Power of Attorney

Choosing a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a big deal, so you want to make sure you do it the right way. You should absolutely have one of these documents in place to help ensure that your wishes are carried out if you’re no longer able to make them yourself. But if you don’t follow the right steps, your LPA might not be valid.

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that allows you to choose a person to manage your financial affairs if you become ill or incapacitated. Making an LPA is an easy way to avoid the worry and confusion of having someone you don’t know or trust having control over your finances and affairs. Yet, many people never create an LPA, leaving the difficult decision of choosing an LPA agent to their family, who may not know what the person would want.

Here’s How to Choose a Lasting Power of Attorney

• Power of attorney versus Healthcare Proxy

As an elderly adult, it’s important to have an estate plan in place. These plans include the Medical Power of Attorney, appointing an individual you trust into making healthcare decisions supposing you cannot do so. When you’re in the prime of your life, it’s hard to imagine that you might not be able to make a decision, but as we grow older, illnesses like dementia and Alzheimer’s can make it impossible. Your Power of Attorney can be used to manage your estate, as well as make your healthcare decisions.

The Medical Power of Attorney is different from the Healthcare Proxy. A healthcare proxy is a document that allows you to name someone to decide if you are incapacitated and no longer able.

• Who should you pick

If you are one of the many millions of Americans planning for retirement, the last thing you might want to think about is losing your mental faculties and being unable to manage your own affairs. At the same time, there is also the possibility that you might not have any immediate family members to step in and help if you become incontinent or otherwise incapable of making your own decisions. In these situations, choosing a trusted person to step in and serve as your “power of attorney” can be a wise decision.

• What characteristics to look for?

The average American household has a lot of money invested in 401K, IRA, mutual funds, and stocks, but many of us don’t know how to find a good Money Manager. It’s an important decision since money managers play a vital role in helping you reach your retirement goals. But choosing the right money manager is not always easy. Here are some tips.

— Trustworthy

As you get older, it is important to think about whom you will trust with your most important financial decisions. You need to consider who will handle your affairs if you become mentally incompetent and how you will provide for your family and other loved ones if you pass away. One of the most important decisions you will make is to select a lasting power of attorney, a person who will make all your important financial decisions if you are unable to do so.

— Assertive

Assertiveness is the ability to express your thoughts and feelings clearly and directly. It’s an essential skill for many situations, such as asking for a raise, confronting a friend about an uninvited opinion, or creating solutions to problems at work. But many of us have been taught that “nice” people don’t make demands or express anger. So, we might feel guilty or ashamed when we’re assertive.

— With a better understanding

When a senior person wants to appoint someone to help them with their financial and legal issues in the future, the appointment is called “Lasting Power of Attorney.” An LPA is a legal document that gives an appointed person the power to make decisions about the senior’s care and money if they become incapacitated for any reason.

— Willing to serve

A living will is a document that describes your wishes for the medical care you receive or don’t receive when you cannot speak for yourself. A living will not be the same as a health care power of attorney or health care proxy, which is a document that states who you want to make medical decisions for you when you are unable to make them yourself. So how do you know if you need both?

A living will do not help if you end up in a coma and are unable to make your own decisions. In that case, you will need a health care power of attorney or health care proxy if you have a living will and no health care power of attorney or health care proxy who makes your decisions for you.

 

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