Estate planning is a crucial aspect of making sure our families are cared for in the event of our death. However, there are many aspects of the process that may help make your life easier, especially when it comes to your health and wellbeing. Power of attorney documents provide integral functions that trigger upon specific events. When it comes time to plan for your family’s future, you may also want to make a plan for your own. By utilizing a power of attorney, you can set yourself up to get help when you are your most vulnerable.
The Purpose of a Power of Attorney
There are times when you may be unable to speak for yourself in critical situations. Having a legal authorization for someone else to speak on your behalf may ease stress and tension for those around you. A power of attorney document performs this function. In it, you appoint a person of your choosing to make decisions, sign documents, and perform other remedies required. There are many different ways a power of attorney document is used, but the two most common types revolve around your health.
The Medical Directive or Medical Power of Attorney
The medical power of attorney permits someone else to make healthcare-related decisions when you cannot do it yourself. The person you choose should be able to make these choices based on the wishes you have outlined in the power of attorney or elsewhere, such as a living will. Your representative will be required to sign off on treatment plans and make decisions having to do with how doctors intervene should your condition deteriorate. A medical directive is triggered when you cannot speak or if you do not have the mental capacity to make decisions for yourself.
The Financial Directive
When you are too sick to make medical choices, you are also considered unable to manage your finances. The financial power of attorney is triggered in the same way as the medical directive. This document grants the person of your choosing access to your portfolio to pay your bills and make daily decisions about how to move forward with paying for your care. When a person must enter a nursing home, the financial power of attorney may give the representative the ability to sell assets to pay for that level of care.
Choosing the person or persons you want to speak for you makes stressful times more manageable. Consult an estate planning lawyer, like an estate planning lawyer, now to get the ball rolling on creating these crucial documents.