My husband and I are doing our estate plan. We are having a hard time deciding who to name as Financial Power of Attorney in case of incapacity. We have two children. The oldest is the most responsible with money but lives back East. The younger child is less knowledgeable about money but lives locally. Any advice on who to name?
-Stymied on St. Claire
Dear Stymied on St. Claire:
This is a difficult choice, and one of the most important decisions to make. You want to pick the “right” person: somebody honest, thoughtful and contentious. You also want an advocate.
I generally do not suggest going with the oldest child simply because they are the oldest. You should feel confident about their abilities, too (as you do here).
It is terrific if your favored person lives close by. It is a great help if they need to go to the bank or doctor appointments. But, your top person may not always live close. Luckily, with technology, many things can be done remotely.
You know your children best. Perhaps you can name the two children as Co-Agents to work together. Alternatively, you could name the oldest child first and grant him the power (in the document) to appoint his sibling as Co-Agent should the need for local help arise. As in life, there are pluses and minuses for everything. I hope this gives you some food for thought!