One of the most important aspects of creating an estate plan is selecting trusted people to act on your behalf in the event you are unable to make do so for yourself. These individuals, known as fiduciaries, carry out your wishes based on authority granted in a Power of Attorney or Health Care Proxy. The attorney-in-fact named in your Power of Attorney handles financial and legal matters, while your Health Care Proxy names an individual to handle healthcare decisions. The individuals you choose do not have to be the same in each document, so you can tailor your selections based on the duties of each role and the strengths of the individuals you are naming.

What to look for in a fiduciary

For both a Durable Power of Attorney and Health Care Proxy, it’s important to choose someone you trust inherently and who will listen to and honor your wishes. This means you should be comfortable sharing personal information concerning your finances and/or health with that person and keeping them updated as your circumstances change over time. This person should also be willing, available, and able to help as needed. Your fiduciaries do not necessarily need to be local, as many decisions can be made over the phone and assistance can be provided online, but it is often helpful to have someone nearby to readily offer in-person support.

A challenge in choosing a fiduciary

Selecting fiduciaries to act on your behalf can be particularly challenging if you don’t have a spouse, adult child, or other trusted loved one to call on for assistance. In this case, selecting a professional such as an attorney from Generations Law Group is a great option. A professional will meet with you to review your wishes and gather information about your overall health, priorities, and how you would like various situations to be handled. At Generations Law Group, we meet with our clients at least annually when serving in a fiduciary capacity, so we are always ready to step in if needed. You can also seek out a trusted neighbor, a close friend, or someone from your faith community for assistance.

No matter who you choose, it is important to communicate openly and regularly so that the fiduciary can honor your wishes. Our Life Conversations workbook will guide you through these important conversations.

Founded by a nurse attorney and with offices in Acton and Sudbury, Massachusetts, Generations Law Group helps families navigate the complex areas of estate planning, elder law, and probate to inform and protect loved ones of every generation.



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