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Are you hesitant to appoint a power of attorney agent?

You may consider yourself someone who does not like to relinquish control. This trait may suit you for any number of reasons, and as a result, you may find yourself feeling hesitant to put anyone else in charge of your financial or health-related matters.

Of course, appointing a power of attorney agent is an important part of the estate planning process. If you find yourself incapacitated and completely lacking the ability to communicate your wishes effectively, it may worry you more that a stranger or undesired party could end up in charge of your affairs because you did not appoint someone yourself. Still, you may worry that giving someone such power could lead to possible abuse.

Powers of a POA

True, a power of attorney agent will have a number of abilities when it comes to handling decisions regarding your personal finances. For instance, he or she may pay your bills or make adjustments to your investments. The agent may even have the ability to change beneficiary designations on certain accounts. Because you certainly do not want just anyone to have such powers, you can take steps to limit the potential for abuse.

Strong traits

A significant beneficial point of appointing a power of attorney agent is that you get to decide who will hold the power. When considering your candidates, it may prove especially important to choose individuals who have a strong sense of responsibility and who you consider trustworthy. It may also be worth considering parties who have a wealth of financial knowledge. Because many of the decisions that your POA agent may make will revolve around finances, you certainly want to have someone who understands these important areas.

Appoint an overseer

While you may feel confident in the person you choose to act as your agent, it may still give you pause to give that much responsibility and power to one person. Fortunately, you can also appoint someone to oversee your agent's actions. For instance, you may want your agent to present records of any transactions made to a financial advisor to make sure everything remains in order. If you did not want to be so formal, you could also appoint one of your children, another family member or a friend.

Having the fear that a power of attorney agent could overstep his or her boundaries and abuse that power is understandable. You could utilize various options to help work towards preventing such abuse. If you would like to gain more information on how to do so, you may find it helpful to speak with an attorney.

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Hall, Ricketts, Schuller & Gurbacki, P.C.
471 Main Street
East Aurora, NY 14052

Phone: 716-243-3515
Fax: 716-652-2058
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