Checklist: Name a Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is someone you appoint to make legal and financial decisions on your behalf in case you are no longer able to do so. If you should become incapacitated and a power of attorney has been appointed, there will be no lapse in your ability to control your finances or legal matters, as the agent will be able to act on your behalf. If you become incapacitated without a power of attorney, no one can legally handle your financial affairs.

In order to name a power of attorney, you're going to need to work with a lawyer or an online legal service. This worksheet can prepare you for the conversations and decisions you’re going to have to make. To learn more about naming a power of attorney, click here.

  • Choose the person you’d like to serve as your power of attorney
    • In case I become unable to handle my own financial and legal affaris on my own, the person I would like to handle my financial and legal affairs on my behalf is ______________________________________.
    • If this person is unable to serve as power of attorney, I would like my back-up (“successor”) power of attorney to be ______________________________________.
  • Decide when you’d like your power of attorney to begin: I would like my power of attorney to go into effect
    • Immediately upon signing
    • At a specific date or event, such as a declaration of my incompetence
  • Decide when you’d like your power of attorney to end: I would like my power of attorney to remain in effect until
    • I am declared incompetent
    • I die

If you chose “Immediately upon signing” and “I am declared incompetent” you’ll be creating a Non-durable Power of Attorney.

If you chose “Immediately upon signing” and “I die” you’ll be creating a Durable Power of Attorney.

If you chose “At a specific date or event, such as a declaration of my incompetence” and “I die” you’ll be creating a Springing Power of Attorney.