Estate planning is not limited by age. All individuals should have an updated and accurate estate plan in place. This guarantees your wishes will be followed during your life should you become incapacitated and after your passing. It is always recommended that a professional be consulted and the document be drafted by a professional.
What is the Difference Between a Power of Attorney and a Durable Power of Attorney?
A power of attorney is a document in which a trusted person is named to legally make financial decisions or direct medical care during your life. However, this power ends the moment you become mentally incapacitated.
A Durable Power of Attorney remains in effect while you are alive but mentally incapacitated either temporarily or permanently. It is the definition of durable which defines the document and its’ powers.
The Durable Power of Attorney (DPA) is one of the most vital documents to have in place. It should be with the utmost consideration one chooses a DPA. Should you become mentally incapacitated without a DPA, your family or loved one may need intervention by a court in order to handle your affairs.
Does Your Attorney Need to Be Your Durable Power Of Attorney?
No. A trusted individual should be chosen.
What Is A Medical Power of Attorney or Durable Power Of Attorney For Healthcare?
A Medical Power Of Attorney is a person who is given the specific mission to direct your health care should you be unable to do so either permanently or temporarily. This is a medical directive and its’ exact name will differ depending upon your state.
What Is A Health Care Directive?
Health Care Directives were and are in many states called Living Will. This is a document which directly specifies your wishes concerning health care. Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) and life support directives are commonly covered in this document.
Does The Durable Power Of Attorney Need To Be The Same Person As The Medical Power Of Attorney?
No. They can be the same trusted individuals or separate individuals. Choose the individuals according to their strengths. Perhaps a person you would trust with your finances is not the same as the person you would trust to make serious medical decisions.
What Is A Financial Power Of Attorney?
A Financial Power of Attorney is generally named to handle your finances. The range of power given can be as broad or specific as desired.
Estate planning in general has many similarities in its’ goal; however, laws vary per State. It is crucial your estate plan conforms to the laws in your State.
The American Bar Association (ABA) has a nice overview and extensive FAQ section on planning an estate which can answer many basic questions or provide links to state associations.
Also covered by the ABA is the continuing trend of Do It Yourself (DIY) documents and web based legal services. The positives and risks are reviewed with online legal services as well as documentation of its’ possible shortfalls due to state laws.