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Planning for incapacity and selecting an agent

On Behalf of | Mar 9, 2021 | Estate Planning |

One of the most important parts of planning for incapacity during the estate planning process is selecting an agent. A designated agent can handle the estate planner’s financial and medical affairs if they become incapacitated which is why making that decision, and knowing how to make it, is important.

How to select an agent for incapacity purposes

During the estate planning process, a trusted individual can be designated to handle the estate planner’s financial affairs and medical treatment in a power of attorney for financial affairs or a power of attorney for healthcare. What should estate planners consider when determining who their agent will be?

There are several considerations to take into account when selecting an agent including the following.

Where does the agent live?

Though technology is bringing us closer together than ever, it may be a good idea to have an agent that does not live in another state or country from the estate planner. That said, technology makes the proximity between the agent and the estate planner less crucial than it might once have been.

What are the time commitments of the agent?

If the agent has many other time commitments, a demanding job or travels for work, it may be best to select an agent that can put the time and attention needed and required into directing the estate planner’s medical or financial affairs.

Does the agent have any expertise managing finances or in healthcare?

The agent selected does not necessarily need to have financial experience or experience in the healthcare field but it might be useful if they do.

Making informed decisions regarding incapacity

Making a plan for incapacity can be crucial when it is needed. The role of agent for the estate planner’s financial and medical affairs is an important one and that person should be selected thoughtfully and carefully. Knowing what to base that decision on, and what to take into account when making it, is valuable information for estate planners to have.



Photo of Jennifer D. Sharpe