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All too many times overwhelmed caregivers are physically and emotionally depleted and need to take time to rest and care for themselves. Believing in a holistic approach to caregiver stress and a strong commitment to helping our members find the right solutions, we created this blog to help you connect with others who, like you, may be facing the same eldercare issues and challenges. Feel free to comment, ask questions, and submit articles. Please forward the blog link to your family and friends. They'll be glad you did.

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Patricia Grace
founder & CEO
Aging with Grace

Monday, April 12, 2010

Guide to Choosing a financial agent

Sonya Mittelman, Owner, Law office of Sonya Mittelman

Unless all of your assets are held jointly with another, you need to ensure that they cam be managed in the event of your incapacity. The document that allows you to do this is known as a power of attorney. It is a complex document that needs to be tailored to fit your situation. it should not be prepared without the assistance of a competent attorney in your jurisdiction You may chose a single agent or multiple agents. if you chose multiple agents, they may act jointly or separately.

You may be wondering how should I choose my agent. You are giving your agent access to your money. This is not an honor like being a best man or maid of honor. It is serious responsibility. Chose carefully No one including your spouse or partner should be chosen just because it is natural or seems “fair”

What factors should you consider in deciding who to chose.? The most important thing to remember is that a power of attorney is effective. upon signing. The agent or agents may begin to manage your assets, even while you are still capable, so consider who you can work best with. While you are competent, will the person be able to abide by your wishes?

A power of attorney survives your incapacity, if you are no longer able to manage your assets, the agent may do so, At this point, he or she is standing in your shoes. He or she must do as you would want, not as he or she would do for him/ herself. Factors to consider here are (1) are your basic values as they involve money similar. (2) How finically secure is he /she. You are giving access to your funds. (3) What is His/ her level of Experience with money. Is he or she willing to serve?

In deciding whether to name two or more agents, and whether to have them act jointly or separately, consider all of the above, and whether their values about money are similar and how well they get along. Do NOT just chose all of your children in order to treat them “ equally”. They will not have equal abilities.

Once the decision is made, let every one know who is chosen and why. Open and honest communication will avoid problems later.

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