Who to Appoint

Power of attorney usually gives the person or persons authority to act on your behalf, so the person should be selected with care. The actions of the individual you've authorized are binding on you, but there's an obligation for the person to act in your best interest.

You can grant power of attorney to anyone who is at least 18 years of age and mentally competent. The person doesn't have to be a lawyer, and is often the spouse or an adult child.

It's important to discuss your wishes with the person to whom you grant power of attorney so they can manage your affairs with your wishes in mind.

Other things you should consider:

  • Choosing someone who lives close enough to be able to deal with situations easily.
  • Naming more than one person to act jointly or severally. Jointly means all would have to sign documents to make them legal. Severally means any of the named individuals could act alone on your behalf.

Consulting with a lawyer

You may wish to consider hiring a lawyer. They can advise you on drawing up specific conditions and limitations in the granting of power of attorney and may also raise issues you may not have considered.