Who is the Right Person to Manage Your Assets?
When you sign a general power of attorney, you authorize someone to manage financial matters on your behalf either immediately or in the event that you are unable to do so yourself, depending on which you prefer. You know to choose someone who is trustworthy and who will act in your best interests. But you should also choose someone who can handle the responsibility of managing your assets and paying your bills. As you discuss your choice with your family, refer to the basic consideration questions on the back of this page to guide the decision process and make note of any questions you want to ask your attorney.
For the initial agent, married couples typically choose a spouse, and single people often choose a parent, sibling, or child, depending on their age. For married people, these people are named as alternates. But before doing what most people do, consider whether that person has the knowledge and experience necessary to manage your financial matters. Choose someone you’d trust with your checkbook, and if you have a business, choose someone you’d trust to run the business for you.
Convenience normally plays a major role in deciding who should act as your power of attorney. On one hand, it might make your parents or siblings feel good to all be appointed together as your agent. On the other hand, it is often very inconvenient to coordinate the action of all of them any time a decision must be made. If they all are appointed and cannot agree, then a court will resolve the dispute. Consider whether the better option is to appoint one parent or sibling as primary agent and appoint the others as alternates.