A Durable Power of Attorney is essential should you become incapacitated.
Life can take unexpected turns.
Some are good.
Some are bad.
According to a recent AL.com article titled “If You Don’t Have This, You Need It,” you need to plan for the bad turns.
How do you do this?
Create a Power of Attorney.
There are different types.
What are they?
A Springing Power of Attorney is limited.
It can only be used when certain criteria are met.
This is usually when you have become incapacity.
Because the agent must prove you are incapacitated, it may cause delays for him to act for you.
Establishing your incapacity will only add an additional hassle factor to an already stressful situation.
General Power of Attorney.
With a General Power of Attorney you can designate an attorney-in-fact to act on your behalf regarding financial matters, while you are still competent.
However, once you become incapacitated, the document is null and void.
That is exactly when you want the document to be effective, yes?
So, what is the solution?
General Durable Power of Attorney.
Unlike a General Power of Attorney, a General "Durable" Power of Attorney continues to be operative even while you are incapacitated.
Limited Power of Attorney.
This allows an appointed agent to serve under certain conditions.
An example would be to sell your automobile while you are out of the country on vacation.
Work with an experienced estate planning attorney to determine what option best suits your needs.
You will also need to determine who you would like appoint as your agent.
You should also have a backup agent in case your primary agent is unable to serve when the time comes.
In addition to a Power of Attorney (f0r financial matters), you appoint agents for your health care decisions.
What are your options?
Advance Health Care Directive.
In our practice, this critical document consists there components.
First, there is the Health Care Treatment Directive whereby you outline your desires for end-of-life care.
Second, there is the Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care Decisions through which you appoint your agents to "go to bat" for you and make your medical decisions when you are unable.
Finally, we include an Anatomical Gift Declaration to provide your instructions should the hospital "harvest team" ask your agents about organ donations on your behalf.
In the end, work with an experienced estate planning attorney so the unexpected does not become the unanticipated.
Reference: AL.com (October 26, 2018) “If You Don’t Have This, You Need It”