When you hear the phrase “estate planning” the first thing that probably comes to mind is a Last Will and Testament. But estate planning is broader than that and includes other important documents such as a power of attorney and an advance directive, also known as a health care proxy. These are essential tools in any estate plan, because while a Will dictates what happens to your assets after you pass, a properly written power of attorney and advance directive ensures you are taken care of during life when you cannot care or make decisions for yourself. Without them, you could be facing substantial difficulties later in life that you might otherwise be able to avoid. Here are five things that everyone should know about powers of attorney and advance directives when making their estate plans:
Health Care Proxy
A health care proxy designates an agent to make medical decisions in the event a person becomes incapacitated.
Continue reading “Summer Is Approaching, so Be Sure to Have Your Advanced Directives in Place”
Advanced directives are documents that assist in the event that a person loses the capacity to make decisions on their own behalf. These documents allow a designated agent to act on someone else’s behalf in order to make medical or financial decisions. It is recommended that those over the age of eighteen have advanced directives in place, especially if he or she is going away to college. Continue reading “Be Sure You Have Advanced Directives in Place”
Creating and maintaining a comprehensive estate plan is essential to preserving assets and ensuring that a beneficiary’s financial needs are met in the event that a person should die. A thorough estate plan can be created at any age and should include a Last Will & Testament and advanced directives such as a Health Care Proxy, Living Will, and Power of Attorney. Some estate plans may also include a Trust in order to protect certain assets. Continue reading “Storing and Maintaining Original Estate Planning Documents”
A power of attorney is a standardized legal form created by statute that gives an agent the ability to act on behalf of the principal in the event that he or she becomes disabled or incapacitated. It is particularly important to keep a Power of Attorney up to date as well as periodically review the document in order to add enumerated powers or update it in accordance with new case law or life circumstances, even if the agents remain the same. Continue reading “Update Your Power Of Attorney to Reflect Changes in the Law”
Regardless of how many assets you own, estate planning is an important component of your overall financial plan. A properly expected estate plan can help to secure a financial legacy for loved ones and express medical decisions if you are unable to do so. Estate planning can be complex, so it is important to consult the guidance of an experienced estate planning lawyer.
It may be a big undertaking when obtaining a power of attorney for a family member or loved one. A power of attorney provides authority to an agent to make decisions on behalf of the principal in the event that he or she becomes incapacitated. The “principal” is the person for whom an individual is acting as power of attorney. The “agent” is the individual responsible for carrying out the wishes of the “principal.”