A Power of Attorney (POA) is a legal document in which you grant someone else the ability to make decisions on your behalf if you become physically or mentally incapable of doing so yourself. The individual you choose may be assigned responsibility for handling financial matters, making healthcare decisions, and caring for your children.
DK Rus Law can assist with drafting and executing a power of attorney to help avoid the costs, delays, and emotional distress that related legal proceedings typically involve.
The Purpose of a Power of Attorney
In the event that you become incapacitated or otherwise unable to make important financial decisions for yourself, a traditional power of attorney will allow the individual of your choosing the authority to act in your interest in a broad range of matters, including:
Managing your finances, banking, and investments.
Making decisions regarding the care of your children.
Buying and selling real estate and personal property.
Operating a business in your place.
Handling taxes and lawsuits.
Applying for government benefits.
Securing a PoA with the 'Durable' Designation
A traditional power of attorney may be canceled if you revoke it, if it contains an expiration date, if you pass away, or if you become incapacitated. A durable designation means that the power of attorney continues to remain effective after you become mentally or physically unable to make or communicate informed decisions.
Choosing Who Will Make Healthcare Decisions
A healthcare power of attorney will name a trusted person who can make healthcare decisions on your behalf. Whether you become mentally incapable of making sound decisions or lose the ability to communicate those decisions, a healthcare PoA will allow someone you trust to make important decisions regarding your health for you. In the event that you regain the ability to make these decisions, your chosen agent’s authority will be revoked and the responsibility for making healthcare decisions will then be your own.
If you decide you need a healthcare power of attorney, it’s important to choose someone you trust as your agent, and clearly communicate to them your wishes regarding your future medical care. These wishes may be included in your power of attorney, or communicated separately in an Advance Directive, also referred to as a Living Will.