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Powers of Attorney for Health and Finances

If a loved one becomes unable to make their own healthcare or financial decisions, the last thing you want to add to the stress is the need to got to court to have a guardian or conservator appointed. Powers of attorney, signed while a person is still competent, can avoid this.

A power of attorney (POA) is a written authorization for someone to represent or act on your behalf.  Generally, a comprehensive estate plan includes a power of attorney for both health care and finances.  Upon your disability or incapacity to make decisions, your appointed agent steps into your shoes to make decisions and manage your affairs on your behalf.  Without a power of attorney, a guardianship or conservatorship may need to be established, which can be emotionally and financially taxing on loved ones and caregivers.

Health Care Power of Attorney

A health care power of attorney provides authority for another person to make health care decisions for you if you become incapacitated.  If you have a living will, your health care power of attorney’s decisions must be consistent with the desires expressed in your living will.

Durable Power of Attorney

A durable power of attorney provides authority for another person to make financial decisions for you if you are not able to makes those decisions for yourself.  A durable power of attorney is essential for any estate plan to ensure that, in the event of your disability or incapacity, you will avoid the necessity of having a court appoint a conservator to manage your finances under court supervision.  With a durable power of attorney, your agent will be able to pay for your support and care, access bank accounts pay necessary bills, prepare and file tax returns, and manage your financial affairs.

Planning ahead and legally appointing a decision-maker for future issues of health and finances will greatly reduce the burden on your loved ones, should you become incapacitated or unable to make sound decisions on your own. Don’t wait until a medical crisis occurs, contact our office to schedule a consultation with an attorney to discuss your options.