Durable Financial Power of Attorney
The most important part of estate planning is recognizing the possibility of needing someone else to help you with your day to day financial duties and decisions, in the event you become too sick or incompetent to do them yourself. A Durable Power of Attorney is an instrument in which you designate an Agent to act on your behalf should you need them to. The word “Durable” means that this document will stay in effect even if you become incompetent. This Agent can be a spouse, child, sibling or even a trusted friend. You should appoint a primary Agent as well as an alternate Agent, in case your named Agent passes away before you do or is unable or unwilling to help when the time comes.
Without a Power of Attorney, if you are no longer able to get out to the bank, get on the phone with your insurance company or do other routine financial tasks, it would be necessary for your family to initiate Guardianship proceedings in order to obtain the legal authority to take care of your financial affairs. A Guardianship can result in the courts deciding who is going to make financial decisions for you, and how your money is going to be spent, even if that means all of your life savings will be spent on your care.
All Powers of Attorney are not equal, and the laws are always changing. It is extremely important to get a high-quality Power of Attorney document so your loved ones are not stuck with an unusable Power of Attorney document, and only find out that they cannot use it after something has happened to you.
Durable Health Care Power of Attorney
In Pennsylvania, you have the legal and ethical right to make your own decisions about the type of health care you want. If you are able to communicate these decisions to your physicians, they will directly involve you. However, if you are unable to make decisions, others will have to make these decisions for you.
A Health Care Durable Power of Attorney allows individuals to appoint another person to make decisions about health care matters for them if they become incompetent. This individual can also get access to your protected health information so they are able to gather information from your doctors about your diagnosis and treatment. Just as with a Financial Power of Attorney, you should pick a primary Agent as well as an alternate.
How We Can Help
Do not leave your medical or financial well being up to the courts to decide and your family in a position where they cannot help you. Protect your rights and contact Zacharia Brown today to have your Durable Power of Attorney prepared. We cannot stress enough how valuable these documents are.