Life Insurance
Insurance 101
Live Chat
Log In
Apply Now
Wills & Estate Planning

Are You Someone's Power of Attorney? Questions POA Agents Should Ask

By Allison Kade Sep 15, 2023

If someone in your life is considering naming you their power of attorney, it's important to understand what you're signing up for, and to ask any relevant questions beforehand.

First, what is a power of attorney (POA)? In a nutshell, it's a document that lets you name someone as an agent who can make decisions on your behalf, such as if you're incapacitated.

There are several different types of power of attorney, and they vary based on factors such as how long they're in effect, when they spring into action and how much control they give the agent.

What You Should Know if You're Someone's POA Agent

There's the technical side, and the emotional side. On one hand, you'll probably want to understand what your responsibilities will entail, and what the expectations are of you as the POA. Will you be managing this person's finances? What are the circumstances under which you'll be called to act, or is this more of a worst-case-scenario thing?

Then you'll probably also want to gain a sense of the emotional expectations. What does this person value in their lives? What guiding principles would they want you to keep in mind as you're making decisions on their behalf?

Questions to Ask if You're Designated as Power of Attorney

If a family member names you as his or her POA agent, here are some things you’ll want to discuss beforehand:

  • What aspects of your finances am I responsible for?

  • Do you have other legal documents in place, like a will, trust and a medical POA?

  • Am I also being named as successor trustee (the person who takes control of a trust fund after the initial trustee dies) on any trusts you’re setting up?

  • If I’m managing finances for your long-term care, which options have you looked into? What kind of care do you prefer, such as transitioning to a nursing home versus hiring an aide for in-home care? How long will this account be able to fund it?

  • Are you planning to manage your finances independently until you legally can’t, or do you want me to take on any responsibilities before then?

It’s important to note that you might not know if you’ve been named the agent! A good first step if you know your relatives are doing estate planning is to check whether you’re named on any documents.

Power of attorney enables you to handle critical financial matters for your loved ones if they can’t. It can even protect their spouse from being financially trapped if something happens to them.

Of course, this whole process might get you wondering whether you need a POA, too. You’d probably want someone you trust to handle medical decisions for you if you couldn't speak for yourself. Similarly, it's a good idea to consider who will keep the money side of your life from crashing in an emergency.

Power of attorney can make it easier for a loved one to pay your bills, keep you out of debt and make sure your dependents are provided for. If you're called upon to do that for someone you love, it is a high honor, responsibility and sign of trust.

Fabric exists to help young families master their money. Our articles abide by strict editorial standards.

Fabric by Gerber Life exists to help young families master their money. Our articles abide by strict editorial standards.

Information provided is general and educational in nature and is not intended to be, and should not be construed as, financial, legal, or tax advice. Laws of a specific state or laws relevant to a particular situation may affect the applicability, accuracy, or completeness of this information. Federal and state laws and regulations are complex and are subject to change. We make no warranties with regard to the information or results obtained by its use, and disclaim any liability arising out of your use of, or reliance on, the information.

Fabric by Gerber Life offers a mobile experience for people on-the-go who want an easy and fast way to purchase life insurance.

Written by

Allison Kade

Related Posts

Wills & Estate Planning

Different Types of Power of Attorney (and Which Is Right for You)

There are a number of different types of POA, which vary according to how much control they grant the agent, how long they last and when they take effect.

By Jessica Sillers
Wills & Estate Planning

What Is Power of Attorney, and Do I Need One?

Power of attorney can be helpful if ever you were to become incapacitated, to help account for your financial and medical wellbeing.

By Allison Kade
Wills & Estate Planning

What a Will Doesn't Cover: Pets, Funeral Arrangements, Digital Assets and More

We'll explain some of the things a will doesn't cover and special situations to be alert for.

By Allison Kade

Fabric Picks

Life insurance

What Pre-Existing Medical Conditions May Disqualify You From Getting Life Insurance?

Pre-existing conditions can make getting life insurance more challenging, but you may still have coverage options. This is how insurers look at common health conditions.

By Jessica Sillers
Life insurance

Myths About Life Insurance With No Medical Exam

Life insurance without a medical exam is frequently misunderstood. Separate myths from facts about no-exam policy options.

By Jessica Sillers
Life insurance

Can You Be Too Rich for Life Insurance?

Do affluent families still need life insurance? How and why to use life insurance for high-earning households.

By Jessica Sillers
Fabric by Gerber Life Logo

About Fabric




Download Fabric’s iOS mobile app through the Apple App Store
Download Fabric’s android mobile app through the Google Play app store

© 2023 Gerber Life Agency, LLC

Term Life Insurance Policy Series ICC22 2205-4004 WSA and Accelerated Death Benefit Rider policy series ICC22 2205-2623 WSA (and state variations where applicable) issued by Western-Southern Life Assurance Company, Cincinnati, OH which operates in DC and all states except NY, and distributed by Gerber Life Agency, LLC using Fabric Technologies. Gerber Life Agency, LLC is an affiliate of Gerber Life Insurance Company (est. 1967). All are members of Western & Southern Financial Group (Western & Southern). Issuance of coverage for Term Life Insurance is subject to underwriting review and approval. Please see a copy of the policy for the full terms, conditions and exclusions. Product provisions, availability, definitions and benefits may vary by state. Payment of benefits under the life insurance policy is the obligation of, and is guaranteed by, the issuing company. Guarantees are based on the claims-paying ability of the issuer. Products are backed by the full financial strength of the issuing company.

All sample pricing is based on a 30-year old F in Excellent health for the coverage amount shown and a 10-year term policy, unless otherwise stated. Gerber Life Agency, LLC (GLA) is an insurance agency licensed to sell life insurance products. GLA will receive compensation from Western-Southern Life Assurance Company for such sales. The NAIC Company Code for Western-Southern Life Assurance Company is 92622.

Western-Southern Life Assurance Company's A+ Superior A.M. Best Rating: Superior ability to meet ongoing insurance obligations (second highest of 13 ratings; rating held since June 2009). Ratings are subject to change from time to time. The ratings shown here are correct as of 09/03/2022. For more information about a particular rating or rating agency, please visit the website of the relevant agency.

Plan like a parent. is a trademark of Fabric Technologies, Inc.

Gerber Life is a registered trademark. Used under license from Société des Produits Nestlé S.A. and Gerber Products Company.

In the State of California, Gerber Life Agency, LLC is known as and does business as Gerber Life Insurance Agency, LLC.