Powers of Attorney

lawPower of Attorney Documents are a vital component of any estate plan. While a Will allows you to appoint an Executor to administer your assets after you have passed, a Power of Attorney Document allows you to appoint a representative to make decisions regarding your financial matters and health care treatment while you are still living.Powers of Attorney are of the utmost importance because in the event that you are incapacitated for any reason, if you do not have a validly executed Power of Attorney document appointing an attorney-in-fact to carry out transactions on your behalf, the only other alternative may be the formal appointment of a guardian by the probate court of the county in which you reside. There are two main types of Power of Attorney Documents:

General Power of Attorney

  • A General Power of Attorney allows the designation of an attorney-in-fact (usually a family member or loved-one) to carry out necessary financial and property transactions on your behalf
  • General Power of Attorney Documents can, at your election, be made effective either (1) immediately upon executing the document or (2) upon your treating physician certifying that you are incapable of managing your own affairs

Health Care Power of Attorney

  • A Health Care Power of Attorney allows the designation of a Health Care Representative (usually a family member or loved-one) to:
    • Communicate with treating physicians on your behalf
    • Obtain your medical records
    • Provide instruction to doctors as to what actions to take on your behalf, procedures to perform or not to perform, accept or refuse treatment

The Difference Between Wills and Powers of Attorney

  • A Will does not take effect until the date of death, and a Personal Representative or Executor is appointed pursuant to its terms
  • A Power of Attorney Document is only effective from the effective date contained in the Power of Attorney Document (either immediate or upon incapacity) until death

Living Wills

A Living Will is a document that allows you to set forth very specific instructions for your Health Care Representative/Attorney-in-fact and your physicians to follow in certain end-of-life medical situations. A Living Will allows you to:

  • Request or refuse the provision of artificially supplied nutrition and hydration, ventilators, and other life-prolonging measures
  • Dictate your preferred manner of treatment in the event that you are diagnosed as having a terminal condition or being in a persistent vegetative state
  • Provide guidance and peace of mind to your loved ones in carrying out their interaction with our treating physicians

For a free legal consultation regarding powers of attorney, please complete and submit our contact form or call us directly at 317.575.8222. Evening and weekend appointments are available.

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