Durable Power of Attorney & Advance Health Care Directives

Durable Power of Attorney

What is a durable power of attorney for finances & personal affairs?

A durable power of attorney for management of property and personal affairs enables you, while you have capacity, to select individuals you know and trust to act on your behalf during any incapacity, regardless if your incapacity is temporary or permanent.  Some of the powers included in this document are the powers to file your state and federal income taxes, file a lawsuit on your behalf (this may be the cause of your incapacity), inherit on your behalf, and title your assets in the name of your trust.

Why do I need a durable power of attorney for finances & personal affairs?

If you do not have a durable power of attorney for management of property and personal affairs, your loved ones would need to be court appointed to act on your behalf.  A court appointed individual is called a conservator.  A conservatorship is a public process so anyone will have access to your current mental health status.  It typically costs between $5,000 to $10,000.

What is an advance health care directive or living will?

An advance health care directive, sometimes called a living will, enables you while you have capacity to choose individuals you know and trust to make your health care decisions when you are unable to make them.  This is an important document.  By executing this document, you are relieving your loved ones from having to make extremely difficult decisions during a highly stressful and emotional time.  You ease their burdens by specifying certain health care decisions, e.g., your burial preferences, anatomical gift preferences, life sustaining treatment, etc.