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Powers of attorney can play vital role in estate plans

When planning for end-of-life arrangements, many decisions need to be addressed. Powers of attorney can play a significant role later in life, and therefore, Massachusetts residents may wish to appoint their agents as part of their estate plans. Appointing more than one agent may prove useful, as it spreads out the responsibilities as well as allows the agents to keep each other in check when it comes to decision making. 

Of course, trust is among the most important aspects when individuals make their agent decisions. Because these individuals will handle financial affairs and other personal aspects, trustworthiness and a sense of responsibility are key to having effective agents. It may also be important to remember that incapacitation could occur at any time, and trusting those agents now and in the future is vital. 

Parties may also want to limit the type of power agents have. As power of attorney documents are created, individuals can detail their specific needs and how they would like their agents to act on their behalf. By giving agents parameters within which they have to work, it may lessen the possibility of financial mishaps taking place. 

Powers of attorney can considerably affect a person's life, and the decisions regarding agents should not be hastily made. Massachusetts residents may wish to determine who they consider a potential candidate and narrow down their choices based on their needs and desires. Speaking with experienced attorneys could help individuals better understand what to look for in an agent and how to go about making their appointments official. 

Source: AARP, "Get a Power of Attorney (But Make Sure It's Not a License to Steal)", Debra Whitman and Jilenne Gunther, March 3, 2017

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