Three vital things to look for when choosing an attorney-in-fact

On Behalf of | Aug 31, 2023 | Estate Planning

Life is full of decisions for Michigan adults. At this point in life, making decisions is probably second nature. Unfortunately, illnesses, injuries and other life-changing events can impair decision-making abilities. When these situations happen, choosing an attorney-in-fact can let you have help with life’s many decisions.


Whether due to medical or business-related decisions, having an attorney-in-fact live near you is crucial. If not, the person appointed to this role might not have the time or ability to show up when needed. While emails, phone calls and video conferences can help an attorney-in-fact complete some duties, it’s often better to have in-person assistance.

Nature of relationship

If you’re married, you could choose your spouse as an attorney-in-fact. Understandably, most married individuals feel their spouses are trustworthy and caring people. But choosing your spouse as an attorney-in-fact isn’t advisable if your marriage is going through problems. A sibling or parent might be a perfect attorney-in-fact if you’re not married.

Ready and willing

Another crucial consideration when choosing an attorney-in-fact is finding someone prepared for this role. Choosing someone who isn’t ready or willing to accept this role’s responsibilities can lead to estate planning disasters. Whether attending a meeting with a medical professional or speaking with a creditor, a great attorney-in-fact must be ready for anything.

It’s easy to confuse power of attorney with an attorney-in-fact. Someone typically assigns a person as their power of attorney, which creates the attorney-in-fact role. With an attorney-in-fact serving such a crucial role, choosing someone for this position isn’t a decision to take lightly. Also, consider having a backup attorney-in-fact. Having a replacement ready is helpful when your original selection can’t perform their duties.