Appointing someone as an agent under a power of attorney gives that person tremendous responsibilities and authority under Texas law. One power of attorney document could list someone in charge of financial decisions, and another POA document could establish someone as a health care proxy for medical decisions. Choosing the right person for these jobs is vital to ensure they perform well and ethically.
Power of attorney selections
Trustworthiness ranks as a critical factor because someone dishonest or who does not have the other person’s best interest in mind could make wrong or self-serving decisions. A close relative might not be the most trustworthy person, either. Therefore, estate planners should think carefully before choosing a POA agent.
Proximity counts. Awarding someone POA authority and the individual not living near the person they represent could create problems. Sometimes, immediate actions are necessary when making health or financial decisions.
A person with knowledge about the responsibilities awarded to them may perform the job well. Persons who understand investments, financial accounts, taxes, and money matters could handle financial POA duties well. Similarly, a person with insights into healthcare might make the right decisions when serving as a health care proxy.
Other POA considerations
A skilled communicator may put those talents to use when acting as someone’s representative. A POA agent may find themselves dealing with people in person or consistently speaking to them on the phone. Engaging in written correspondence might be another responsibility. Those with communication skills might be most effective in these roles, and such talents should not be overlooked when engaged in estate planning.
Punctuality is another helpful trait. Those who are on time may avoid unforced errors. Such errors may include paying bills late or not showing up to meetings at the right time. A punctual person may be worth considering since they seem less likely to make these mistakes.