Powers of Attorney
Powers of attorney name agents to act on your behalf if you are unable to make decisions yourself. Having a power of attorney for health care and a power of attorney for finances and property are important regardless of your financial wealth. Without these documents, a loved one will have to go to court to get permission to make decisions on your behalf. Documents that name your agents can give them specific powers and provide direction about what choices you would make if you were well. Powers of attorney make it easier for the people you trust the most to act on your behalf and feel confident they are making the right choices.
A power attorney for health care allows your agent to make medical decisions for you if two doctors or a doctor and a psychologist sign a document stating you can't make those decisions for yourself. You can specify if your agent can make certain decisions like admitting you to a nursing home or withdrawing life support. A living will is closely related to a power of attorney for health care, except the living will provides your health care providers advance instructions about end-of-life decisions and medical care you do or do not want in certain circumstances.The power of attorney for health care and living will together make clear your wishes about medical decisions.
A power of attorney for finances and property gives your agent specific powers to manage your money, financial accounts and property. For example, your agent can sign checks, file tax returns and hire accountants for you. You can choose when this document takes effect. Our attorney can help you decide if it makes sense for the document to take effect right away or only once you're incapacitated.
You should choose people you trust to act as your agents. Consider naming an alternate agent in case your first choice is deceased or unable to act. No matter who you name, your agent has a duty to act in your best interests. If you are competent to make your own decisions, your choices always override your agent's decisions.