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3 facts about choosing your Power of Attorney

A Power of Attorney is an important person designated by your estate plan. This person is someone who can care for you when you're unable to do so yourself, making legal (and sometimes health care) decisions for you.

There are some things you need to know about appointing a Power of Attorney, though. If you don't do so correctly, you could end up seeing the court appointing its own preferred POA to help you through your elder years.

1. You have to be competent to assign Power of Attorney powers

The first thing you need to know is that you must be competent to sign any legal document. Since that's the case, you need to assign a Power of Attorney before you need them. Once you lack legal capacity, the court will have to appoint a guardian.

2. Power of Attorney doesn't grant absolute power

Your Power of Attorney has some rights, but they can't mismanage your estate intentionally. In fact, a Power of Attorney has to make decisions that are in your best interests. Failing to do so intentionally is a violation of the law. You should choose someone you trust for this role to avoid any conflicts.

3. Power of Attorney doesn't continue past death

Once you pass away, Power of Attorney ends, too. You need to appoint an executor to continue caring for the estate after your death.

These are some things to know about a Power of Attorney. This is an important role for a person you trust. Choose carefully, so you know your life is in good hands.

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