Home Finances How to Choose People to Represent You, Part 2

How to Choose People to Represent You, Part 2

Estate planning

In this hour, Elder Law and special needs attorney Jim Koewler talks with Suzanne Newman about how to appoint people to represent you in situations where you’re unable to act for yourself – a who’s who of people who should be involved in your estate plan. This segment focuses on living wills. One person does the job – pick one person.

A power of attorney document should be written as though it’s needed when you need long-term care, because it’s mostly used for that. Name your agent with long-term care in mind. Pick them for that reason – don’t name your son as general power of attorney because he handles money better and name your daughter as your health care agent; if the daughter reaches the end of her rope, the son might not agree to pay for help, and he would control the checkbook.

Living Wills may be different in every state; this covers when you’ve suffered a brain death and you can tell the family whether to keep the respirator running. Keep your chosen people the same order for both the powers of attorney and the living will. That way you don’t have the person listed first on the health care power of attorney having to fight with the person listed first on the living will. Keep them all the same to avoid conflict at a time when conflict slows down your medical care.

Living Wills

  • Person to receive phone call (that Principal seems to have suffered traumatic brain damage): Probably spouse
  • First alternate person to receive phone call: person most likely to take in Principal (person signing the Living Will) if Principal needs long-term care
  • Second successor agent: Person second-most likely to take inPrincipal if Principal needs long-term care
  • Others: The person listed on Living Will to receive the phone call doesn’t have any “power,” but many families don’t know that. So, to avoid “power struggles” among family members, it is prudent to list the same people in the Living Will as are named in the Powers of Attorney

You can listen to the podcast or watch on YouTube. Learn more at protectingseniors.com.