Powers of attorney generally consist of two types of powers. Durable Powers of Attorney for Financial Affairs and Powers of Attorney for Medical Care. Both are an essential component of any estate plan in conjunction with a Will, and an Advanced Health Care Directive at a minimum.
Durable Power of Attorney for Financial Affairs
A durable power of attorney for financial management survives your incapacity and specifies who is to manage your financial affairs (your attorney in fact) and what powers they will have. This document is an essential part of your estate plan. When choosing your attorney in fact you want to select someone whom you can trust and will know how to manage your finances for you. The powers given to your attorney in fact can include but not be limited to all of the following powers and authority:
- Management of your real property
- Purchase and sale of stocks and securities
- Payment of debts
- Payment and settlement of claims
- Sale of Real and Personal Property
- Purchase of Real Property
- Preparation and filing of tax returns
- Deposits and withdrawals from bank accounts
- Access to safe deposit boxes
- Use of Credit Cards
- Management of Investments
- Payments for Tuition or Medical Care
- The general authority to do any act on the Principals behalf that the Principal would otherwise be able to do
- To commence enforcement proceedings against anyone who fails to honor the power of attorney
- To obtain information, records, or other documents regarding the Principal’s personal affairs
- To deal with retirement accounts
- To borrow on the Principal’s behalf and grant security interests
- To add to or remove assets from revocable trusts
- To execute disclaimers
- To amend, create and revoke a living trust
- To purchase and maintain insurance
- To divide and transfer assets to qualify for public benefits
- To enter into transactions necessary for the personal care, medical needs and maintenance of the principal
- To apply for government and insurance benefits
- To undertake all acts and enter into contracts necessary to provide for the principals personal care, support and maintenance including hiring domestic help
- To dispose of the principal’s personal effects when the principal cannot return home
- To provide for the principal’s companion animals and make suitable arrangements for their care
In addition to specifying the powers authorized in a power of attorney for financial affairs, you may also nominate a conservator of your estate should circumstances arise where one is required.
Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care
Your durable power of attorney for health care survives your incapacity and is an essential part of any estate plan. When choosing your attorney in fact you want to select someone whom you can trust, who knows your health care desires and will manage your medical treatment and care for you in accordance with your stated desires. The powers given to your attorney in fact can include but not be limited to all of the following powers and authority:
- The power to make health care decisions for you
- The power to enforce your Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care
- The power to transfer care to another facility
- The power to make anatomical gifts
- The power to dispose of your remains
- The power to authorize an autopsy
- Executions of HIPPA and other Authorizations for release of your medical information
- Execution of other documents, waivers and releases
In addition, you can nominate a conservator of your person should it be determined that one is necessary.
Of utmost importance is your ability to set forth your desires concerning the provision of life sustaining treatment and the amount of treatment and care you want provided in an end of life situation, including but not limited to pain control, palliative care and any other treatment you want provided or withheld and require your attorney in fact to make health care decisions for you in accordance with your instructions.
This is also the place where you will specify your instructions for personal care, such as independent living in the home for as long as possible, for the continuance of social interactions with family and friends and extra curricular activities among others.
Incapacity can happen in an instant and once it does, it is too late to plan for it. If you need a qualified and experienced attorney to help you plan your estate and for your end of life care you have come to the right place. Please contact us today for a free consultation.