As an estate planning lawyer in Newport Beach, I’ve witnessed first-hand how disability, incapacity and the natural affects of aging prevent people from taking care of their financial and personal affairs each and every day.

Some people are prepared for this and have someone legally ready and able to act in their stead.  Others are not so prudent in their planning and their family is often faced with a ton of unnecessary headaches and legal hurdles as a result.

That is why if you care about making things as easy as possible for yourself and your loved ones if short or long-term incapacity occurs, you must have a strong power of attorney in place as part of your overall estate plan.

But choosing the right power of attorney can be difficult, especially if you have many loved ones to select from. Here are some guidelines to help you make the right decision:

  • Choose someone who will always have your best interest at heart. It can be tempting to choose someone who has a strong background in personal finance, but that knowledge cannot help you if the person you choose cares more about their own pocket than yours.
  • Choose someone who is capable of handling the responsibility. Making legal and financial decisions can be tough, especially for your attorney in fact when your exact wishes are not outlined clearly. Handling someone else’s finances and obligations can also be a very time consuming and stressful job. Make sure that the person you enlist is prepared for the task.
  • Choose someone who is emotionally strong. Anyone coming from a large family can relate to the fact that emotions sometimes cloud judgement when it comes to caring for a loved one. And in families where there are many siblings, there can be many conflicting opinions. But at the end of the day, it is the attorney in fact who has the final say (in the event that the elder is not capable of making the decision) so this person must be able to withstand possible confrontations.

Still not sure how to select your power of attorney? Let an experienced Orange County estate planning lawyer help you. Call our office at  (949) 260-1400 and ask if you qualify for a free Family Wealth Planning Session with the mention of this article. However, these sessions are limited to 10 per month so call today!