Durable Power of Attorney

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Durable Power of Attorney

Read on to learn everything you need about how to do A Durable Power Of Attorney and Living Will Help. And how durable powers protect your rights and provide peace of mind to your family.

 

What is a Durable Power of Attorney?

As an attorney-in-fact agent on behalf of a principal, a durable power of attorney (DPOA) gives someone the authority to act on the principal’s behalf. The agent can make financial, medical, and legal decisions if the principal can’t. The document aims to help the agent make decisions quickly and easily. Durable powers of attorney typically go to:

  • Couples
  • The partners
  • Children who are adults
  • The parents
  • The grandparents
  • Having siblings
  • Lawyers

To be able to rely on this individual in making decisions that are in your best interests, you should choose someone you trust implicitly as your dupasspower of attorney. Also, choosing someone with whom you interact regularly helps them better understand how you make decisions. Durable powers of attorney expire when specified conditions occur. You may revoke them at any time of your own free will. They will, however, automatically expire upon your death.

 

Why Do We Need a Power of Attorney?

People can appoint a power of attorney to aid them when they cannot make their own choices. There are a myriad of reasons for this. Someone could be on the move and want someone else to handle their affairs. Or they may be ill and unable to speak on their own. 

Suppose you’re planning for an emergency, final treatment, incapacity or incompetence. In that case, you might name a family member or family member to make decisions for you if you cannot do the job yourself. A durable power attorney is a good alternative if that’s the case.

There are typically two types of powers of attorney that include a financial power of attorney to handle financial decisions and a medical power of attorney for health care for healthcare-related decisions.

 

How do Durable Powers of Attorney Differ From General Powers of Attorney?

Generally, durable POAs remain in place until revoked or die, while general POAs end upon the principal’s incapacitation. They also serve different purposes. In light of this article’s focus on durable powers of attorney, let’s briefly examine the general powers of attorney.

 

General Power of Attorney

When the principal is still alive and capable of making independent decisions, general powers of attorney are commonly used, such as in cases of mental illness or catastrophic injuries.

 

Powers of attorney are helpful for a variety of reasons, including:

  1. Manage finances
  2. Own a business
  3. Managing and discussing insurance plan available ointments with doctors
  4. Review medical records
  5. Please put them in charge of critical decisions.
  6. Protect specific designations with legal rights.

Using a general power of attorney for several tangible reasons is possible. At the same time, the principal is still alive and aware, but a general POA cannot handle issues once the principal becomes incapacitated. Here are other reasons to use a durable power of attorney to address this situation.

 

Do POAs and DPOAs serve the same purpose?

Agents with durable powers of attorney have the same powers as a power of attorney, so they are similar.

  • It doesn’t matter what you want to assign to someone else; you can use both attorneys for healthcare and finance.
  • When you become incapacitated, a DPOA will remain in effect.
  • A DPOA is a good idea in case of an unexpected accident, illness, or injury, which may prevent you from taking care of your finances or healthcare.

 

Does a DPOA ever expire?

Invalidation by a court, inability to carry out the agent’s responsibilities, or death of the person included in the durable power of attorney can end a durable power of attorney. Powers of attorney are not required to expire in most states. However, some institutions, such as banks, might reject older DPOAs.

Furthermore, you should periodically review your power of attorney and ensure that your agent is still appropriate. You can update your durable power of attorney by using this PandaDoc template.

 

DPOA and living wills

Living wills are directives that healthcare providers must follow when dealing with end-of-life decisions. It is essential to have durable powers of attorney and a living will in conjunction with end-of-life planning. In the case of permanent unconsciousness or terminal illness, a will can only be made by someone unable to communicate. It usually pertains to information about life support, CPR, and interventions.

It’s crucial to have a document such as a DPOA in case a living will does not apply to decisions regarding life-sustaining treatments. A living will does not cover health care decisions, so your agent can make those decisions for you. For example, if you are in a medically induced coma but not terminally ill, you can have your agent decide about your care. The terms become effective as soon as you sign a power of attorney. The decision can also be made or communicated on your terms.

 

Power of Attorney for Health Care vs. Living Will

You can have a Living Will or Durable Power of Attorney if you become incapacitated that defines your healthcare directions. Both documents give your agent different powers and effective dates.

 

Power of Attorney for Health Care vs. Living Will.

 

Last wills and testaments are the first part of an estate plan, but you should consider putting other documents in place to ensure your wishes come true. Among these documents are a living will and a durable healthcare power of attorney. Even though both cover medical decisions, there are some important distinctions to make before you create one.

Similarities

You can choose someone to make medical choices for you by creating a living will or a durable healthcare power of attorney. You must be 18 or older and have a sound mind to create either document. In other words, no one else can force you to make a living will or healthcare power of attorney.

 

Differences

A living will only covers deathbed concerns and states that if there is no hope of recovery after a terminal illness or brain death, no life-prolonging measures should be taken. Meanwhile, a durable power of attorney for healthcare only covers all healthcare decisions as long as you cannot make them yourself. Your critical, however, is to be instructed to act according to your wishes regarding deathbed decisions in the Power of Attorney.

 

Are living wills and healthcare powers of attorney compatible?

In general, living will cover particular things, such as “do not resuscitate,” so it may not cover other important medical concerns you may have. In a healthcare power of attorney, you can express your concerns, such as refusing dialysis or blood transfusions.

 

Durable Power of Attorney Reasons to Use One

Generally, we use a durable power of attorney in response to a specific event. Family lawyers sometimes refer to this document as a “springing POA.” For example, your durable power of attorney becomes effective when incapacitated. Springing POAs include durable powers of attorney for health care and durable powers of attorney for finances.

 

Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care

A durable power of attorney (DPOA), also known as a medical power of attorney, allows a proxy to make medical decisions for you in the event of an injury or terminal illness. Moreover, the proxy does not have the power to make legal decisions about unrelated matters, such as financial matters, since it is the limited power of attorney.

 

Durable Power of Attorney for Finance

The durable power of attorney for finance (DPOA), also known as the financial power of attorney, allows your proxy to act on your behalf in the event of your incapacity or unconsciousness. DPOAs have direct ties to your financial accounts, so they must be someone you trust and know well. They can authorize transactions, withdraw, open new accounts, and speak with the bank. Speaking with an estate planning lawyer about your options if you have any questions about legal powers of attorney is important.

 

Powers of Attorney: Important clauses

For durable powers of attorney to be valid or enforceable, they must contain specific guidelines and provisions. Lacking such provisions will result in your family having to deal with additional legal issues. A durable power of attorney agreement includes the following clauses:

  1. Parties’ introductions
  2. Delegated powers
  3. Clause of choice of law
  4. Affirmationmainlygnaturesmakedatelines
  5. Block of notarization

As indicated in the above-referenced list, a durable power of attorney clause will be critical in your documents. Getting legal advice can help you understand your legal rights and options when creating a durable power of attorney, particularly if you create a springing power of attorney like a medical or financial POA.

 

Learn More about Durable Powers of Attorney

A durable power of attorney is among the components of a solid estate plan. The estate planning process can also benefit you by taking advantage of tax advantages, ensuring your final wishes are met, avoiding probate, leaving a lasting legacy, and giving your loved ones the power to act on your behalf. Your durable power of attorney may also include the following estate planning documents:

  • Living wills or pour-overs
  • Health advance directives
  • A revocable living trust

A probate and estate planning lawyer can help you draft and sign these documents to achieve your end-of-life goals. It is easier to determine which type of estate plan to create by seeking professional advice.

 

Efficient Legal Help for Spouses

You and your spouse can work with the exact attorney to establish a cohesive strategy. If your spouse still needs an attorney, they will likely need one sooner rather than later.

 

Effective Legal Analysis

An estate planning lawyer’s job is to spot indirect issues that may impact your plans. Powers of attorney and a comprehensive estate plan can address your financial, medical, and legal needs. You can avoid legal mistakes and redundancies. I am setting up a legal team early in your planning process.

 

Ongoing Support to Update Documents

If your situation changes, your lawyer can provide ongoing maintenance on your durable power of attorney. Knowing that someone will be available to help you is often comforting and encouraging.

 

Setting up a power of attorney.

To make your power of attorney, follow these steps:

  1. Choose your agent carefully. Your agent will be responsible, so you should choose someone you feel comfortable acting in your best interest. It’s good to speak with your agent beforehand and ensure they will represent you.
  2. Decide what authority you want your agent to have. What financial and medical decisions will they oversee on your behalf?
  3. Get a power of attorney form. States usually provide blank POA forms for free, but they can be challenging to customize. Free online software, like Freewill, also allows you to create health care powers of attorney and a living will (both of which incorporate a durable power of attorney).
  4. You should complete your POA form and sign it before a notary in most states. Some states also require additional witnesses to witness your signature.
  5. Ensure your bank and medical office receives a copy of your POA form.
  6. Ensure your power of attorney forms are stored safely with your other estate planning documents. Whether in a fireproof safe in your home, a safe deposit box, or a trusted attorney’s office.
  7. Changes in your circumstances should be reflected in your POA.

To make sure your POA accurately reflects your intentions, you may find it beneficial to consult with a lawyer before creating it.

 

Hiring a Financial Attorney

We recommend talking to a qualified lawyer if you’re interested in setting up a Durable Power of Attorney.

  • It is not necessarily a good idea to hire an attorney specializing in estate planning if they have no experience in personal injury or criminal defense.
  • Often, Google reviews can be helpful if you don’t know any estate planning law firms recommended by friends, family, and coworkers.
  • Check with your estate planning attorney about all their services, including wills, trusts, life insurance plans, and more.
  • The estate planning lawyer should contact you at least every few years to discuss any revisions that need to be made to your plan.

Interested in learning more about what a Power of Attorney is and how it can help my family and me? Contact Attorney Real Estate Group now.

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