An important function of a completed estate plan is to protect your medical
choices and financial assets in the event of a medical emergency or your
incapacitation. This is accomplished by having valid durable power of
attorney documents for healthcare and finances. These documents appoint
an agent (a family member, advisor, or friend) who can act on your behalf.
Your agent won’t lose their authority at any point during your incapacitation
because these documents are “durable” and not “general.”
A general power of attorney only lasts until your incapacitation.
It’s important to have an
estate planning lawyer review your estate plan and durable power of attorney documents every
few years to ensure they accurately represent your existing needs.
Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare
A durable power of attorney for healthcare authorizes an agent to oversee
your medical care and make healthcare decisions in your place. This is
extremely important in a medical emergency because your agent is allowed
full access to your medical records and can approve medication and treatment
options based on your advanced healthcare directive. This agent also has
the power to legally admit or discharge you from a nursing home or hospital
if your care necessitates it.
By law, your agent and medical care providers are required to abide by
your advanced healthcare directive, which includes instructions about
your end-of-life choices and body donation preferences. As your representative,
it’s your agent’s duty to ensure your advanced healthcare
directive is respected and legally upheld.
Durable Power of Attorney for Finances
A durable power of attorney for finances permits an agent to handle your
financial responsibilities. While you are hospitalized or undergoing medical
care, your agent can make sure your financial matters are being conducted
per your wishes. Your agent has the authority to access your financial
accounts to manage your investments and pay your bills, taxes, and medical expenses.
Create Your Estate Plan Today
If you’re interested in creating an estate plan with durable power
of attorney documents, contact the Law Office of Kathryn Marteeny. Our
lawyers have over 30 years of estate planning experience and can help
you design a plan that perfectly matches your needs and objectives.
Contact the Law Office of Kathryn Marteeny
at (713) 936-2300 to schedule a consultation.