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Important Considerations Before Naming a Power of Attorney

Jun 17
4 min read

Choosing a power of attorney (POA) is a crucial decision with significant implications for your future and financial security. A power of attorney grants another person the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf should you become unable to do so yourself. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind when selecting a Power Of Attorney (POA):

1. Trustworthiness

The most critical factor is trust. You need someone who will act in your best interest, manage your affairs responsibly, and follow your wishes. This person will have access to your financial assets and personal information, so integrity and reliability are paramount.

2. Understanding of Responsibilities

The person you choose should have a clear understanding of the responsibilities and duties involved. They should be aware of the legal and ethical obligations they will be taking on, and be prepared to act in your best interest at all times.

3. Availability and Willingness

Ensure the person you choose is available and willing to serve as your POA. They should be able to dedicate the necessary time and effort to manage your affairs, especially in times of emergency or crisis.

4. Financial Acumen

If your POA will be handling financial matters, they should possess a certain level of financial literacy and acumen. This includes managing investments, paying bills, and understanding financial statements.

5. Medical Knowledge

For a healthcare power of attorney, it is beneficial if the person has some understanding of medical terminology and healthcare procedures. This will enable them to make informed decisions about your medical care.

6. Location

Consider the geographical location of your POA. Ideally, they should live nearby or be able to travel quickly if needed. Proximity can be important in emergencies and for managing day-to-day affairs.

7. Communication Skills

Your POA should have strong communication skills to effectively interact with financial institutions, healthcare providers, and other relevant parties. They should also be able to clearly convey your wishes and preferences.

8. Conflict of Interest

Be mindful of potential conflicts of interest. Avoid choosing someone who might have competing interests or who could benefit personally from the decisions they make on your behalf.

9. Backup Agent

It's wise to name a backup agent in case your primary POA is unable or unwilling to serve. This ensures continuity and that your affairs are managed without interruption.

10. Legal Requirements

Familiarize yourself with the legal requirements in your state or country. Different jurisdictions have specific rules and regulations regarding the designation of a power of attorney.

11. Compatibility with Your Values

Choose someone whose values align with yours, especially regarding medical decisions, end-of-life care, and financial management. They should be someone who understands and respects your wishes.

12. Professional Advice

Consider seeking professional advice from an attorney or financial advisor. They can provide valuable guidance and ensure that your POA document is legally sound and comprehensive.


Selecting a power of attorney in Ohio is a decision that requires careful thought and consideration. By evaluating these key factors, you can ensure that you choose a trustworthy, capable, and reliable person to manage your affairs should the need arise.

When you're ready to speak to a lawyer about assigning a power of attorney call BHMK during business hours or use the form and we will contact you at the number or email you provide.

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