A Power of Attorney is a legal document that authorizes someone else to act on your behalf. Powers of Attorney are most commonly used in legal transactions, especially those where you elect to have your attorney represent you, such as in a real estate negotiation.
But this kind of POA is automatically revoked in the event you become disabled. If you want your Power of Attorney to protect you during disability, it must be “durable.”
To create a Durable Power of Attorney, the document must clearly state that it is durable. You can then use that document to act as a safety net in the event that you are incapacitated.
There are two basic types of Durable POAs: one for financial matters and one for healthcare.
The Financial Durable POA allows someone of your choosing to handle your financial affairs when you’re not able to do so yourself. They can pay your bills for example, transfer money to and from your checking and savings accounts, and discuss payment plans with your creditors.
A Healthcare Durable POA on the other hand, is designed to designate an agent to speak on your behalf regarding medical treatments. This person will have the authority to accept or decline medical procedures on your behalf when you can no longer speak for yourself.
This is important if you have opinions about using life support methods such as feedings tubes and respirators. Without a Healthcare Power of Attorney, also often called an Advanced Healthcare Directive, the decision will be left up to your family members and in their grief-stricken state, they may or may not make the choice you want.
To learn more about Powers of Attorney and incapacity planning, call our office today.