News &Insights

The Most Important Document You May Not Have

In the estate planning world, many people seek our counsel with regard
to creating or updating their Will or Trust. And while these documents
do serve specific functions regarding disposition of assets upon one’s
passing, many clients are neglecting to inquire about one of the most
important estate planning documents they will ever need, a Durable
Power of Attorney.

So what exactly is a Durable Power of Attorney? This powerful document
allows you to appoint an Agent to act on your behalf with regard to
Financial and Medical matters should you be unable to make and/or
communicate decisions on your own.

A Durable Financial Power of Attorney (POA) allows your Agent to have
access to your financial accounts and records so that he/she can
manage and make informed decisions regarding your financial affairs if
you are unable to do so. This document is not only essential in
allowing for day to day management of your finances, but also in
implementing asset protection planning for long term care.

A Durable Medical Power of Attorney (POA) and Living Trust allows an
Agent, also chosen by you, to have access to your doctors, medical
records and wishes for life sustaining treatments in order to make
medical decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated.
Having these documents in place ensure that you alone are the one who
is choosing a person to oversee your medical decisions, rather than
having someone appointed by a court.

When meeting with clients, the attorneys at Zacharia Brown take time
to discuss exactly why these documents are so important, especially
with regard to Estate and Elder Law Planning issues. We also stress
that since the law in this area is constantly evolving, it is
essential to get high-quality Power of Attorney documents from an
experienced Elder Law attorney.

For more information on Durable Powers of Attorney and Zacharia Brown,
please visit us at PittsburghElderLaw.com or call us at 724.942.6200

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