Life has been more unpredictable than usual over the last year. If the global pandemic has taught us anything, it’s reminded us that we have to prepare where we can and hope for the best everywhere else. In the event of accidents, injury, and illness, we can be forced to make important life decisions for ourselves and others. You can make proactive choices now to ensure your wishes are known should the worst happen. By working with a family lawyer to draft these legal documents, you are safeguarding your assets and ensuring your medical preferences are known should you become incapacitated. A durable power of attorney and an advance healthcare directive provide the final word over your affairs.
A durable power of attorney gives a predetermined agent authority to act as your representative for legal matters governed by the document. Matters of contracts, checks, taxes, and real estate can be covered using this legal tool. Your agent would serve as your proxy, even signing for signing legal documents on your behalf. A power of attorney can also be used to manage your financial concerns when you are incapacitated and unable to follow through on your wishes. Your power of attorney wields significant legal power on your behalf, so your agent should be someone you trust to follow your instructions. If you die, your power of attorney no longer serves as a legal instrument, so it should be supported by other estate planning documents, like wills and trusts.
An advance healthcare directive gives your physician and family instructions about your medical preferences. It also covers your approval or disapproval of certain treatments or lifesaving measures, like, surgery, resuscitation, blood transfusions, and testing.
You can also use the legal document to outline whether you’d prefer to spend the end of your life in hospice care, a nursing home, or at a medical facility. Like with a power of attorney, you can also appoint an agent to act on your behalf to ensure your wishes are considered when you cannot speak for yourself. An advance healthcare directive can give peace to your loved ones, and it can ensure they are not left worried they’re making the wrong choices for you. We’ve all been painfully reminded of how quickly circumstances can change in life, so if you are concerned your situation could benefit from a durable power of attorney and advance healthcare directive, contact a family lawyer for assistance.
The attorneys at Cianci Law, PC can start your estate planning documents today. Call us at (916) 797-1575 for more information on these and other estate planning documents to match your situation
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