Power of Attorney is one of the most important tools in your estate plan. When you designate someone to have Power of Attorney, you grant them legal control to make decisions on your behalf, when you are unable to make those decisions.
The person who you name as your power of attorney has an overriding legal obligation (known as a fiduciary duty) to make decisions that are in your best interests. This is not the same as “medical power of attorney,” which would be more in line with your medical needs and decisions at that time.
Reasons to Change My Power of Attorney
We all go through life and relationship changes. The people who we trust and the people who we know to be best for certain tasks may also change — that includes Power of Attorney. Remember, the person you name as Power of Attorney should be trustworthy, reliable, and have incredible integrity. Likewise, it should be someone who wouldn’t be afraid to seek out the right advice to make informed decisions on your behalf.
That’s why it is typically recommended that you revisit your estate plan every five years (if not more frequently) just to make sure that everything is still how you prefer. If it has been a while since you looked at your power of attorney, here are some questions to consider when deciding whether you should update it.
–The arrangement is no longer convenient (perhaps you’ve moved far away or they have).
–You’ve determined someone else is a better fit to serve in your best interests.
–You have gotten married (or divorced) want your spouse to be selected (or removed) as your power of attorney.
–You no longer trust the integrity of the person you’ve previously selected.
–Your designated power of attorney can no longer devote the time needed (due to illness or other life circumstance)
How Do I Change My Power Of Attorney
If you’ve decided that it’s time to change your power of attorney to someone more suitable, we recommend you discuss these matters with a qualified estate planning lawyer. This decision should be made with careful consideration; but, once you do it, you can rest easy.
A knowledgeable estate planning lawyer can help ensure that you make well-informed decisions throughout the entire process and that your designated power of attorney will truly serve your best interests.
If you have questions about setting up, changing or learning more about Power of Attorney and estate plans, call us toll-free at 855-FLA-ESTATE or at 561-955-8515 for a complimentary consultation.