Durable Power of Attorney
In estate planning, a durable power of attorney is often chosen as a way to plan for those times when you are incapacitated.
It is a written document that remains valid even if you should later become unable to make your own decisions.
With a durable power of attorney, you are able to appoint an agent to manage your financial affairs, make health care decisions, or conduct other business for you during your incapacitation.
A durable power of attorney may be general or limited. A general durable power of attorney may allow your agent to do every act which may legally be done by you. A limited durable power of attorney cover specific events, like selling property, making investments, or making health care decisions.
One of the most important parts of creating a durable power of attorney is choosing an agent. The agent is the person you choose to carry out the duties you have outlined in the durable power of attorney. The agent should be someone you trust to carry out your wishes, someone who will not take advantage of you when you are incapacitated, and someone who is willing to serve as your agent. The agent is usually a family member or a friend, but you can choose anyone.
If you choose to create a durable power of attorney, a lawyer can tailor your document to meet your needs.
Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care
The durable power of attorney for health care is a limited durable power of attorney created only for the purpose of making health care decisions.
The durable power of attorney for health care can do everything that a living will can do. In addition, it gives your agent the power to actively remind your physician of your wishes. Your agent will make all of your health care decisions in the event you become incapacitated. The agent must follow your wishes and must consider your physician’s recommendations. Any decision must also be within the range of accepted medical practice.
Part of creating a durable power of attorney for health care is choosing an agent. The agent is the person that you assign to make health care decision for you. You need to think carefully about who knows you best, and who will be able to speak on your behalf regarding your health care matters. You should also consider where the person lives and whether that person could be present when health care decisions need to be made.
You should discuss your health care wishes with your agent. You should also consider naming a second person to act as an agent in the event that your first choice is unavailable or is unwilling to make the decision.
Once you have signed a durable power of attorney for health care, you should inform you physician, your family, and your religious advisor. If you change your mind after creating the document, you can amend or revoke it at any time.