People who are creating an estate plan will need to establish powers of attorney documents. These enable you to name a person or persons to make decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. You should have one both for financial decisions and one for medical decisions.
Getting these documents established ensures that your affairs will still be handled if you can’t do it yourself. You should carefully consider a few things when you’re deciding how you’ll set these up.
What is a financial power of attorney?
A financial power of attorney lets someone take care of things like paying your bills and managing your assets. The person has the same abilities to do their duties as you, so they can sell assets, make purchases and deal with investments.
What is a medical power of attorney?
A medical power of attorney lets the named person make decisions about your medical care — but only if you’re unable to direct the care yourself. This person and the medical care team must respect the points you put into the advance directives. They can’t make decisions that go against the advance directives, so be sure that you set that document up to reflect your care wishes.
When you’re considering who to name for each of these, be sure you pick someone you can fully trust. They must be able to handle things in the way you would if you were able to make the decisions. They can’t think about their own wishes.
Powers of attorney designations are only one component of a comprehensive estate plan. Be sure that you get everything set up as soon as you can so you know that everything is ready to make minimize the stress on your loved one if you become incapacitated or when you pass away.