Types of Power of Attorney Documents
In a previous blog post, we learned that a Power of Attorney allows you to put a friend or family member in charge of your affairs should you become incapacitated (injury, illness, etc.) or are not present to make important decisions. Needless to say, Power of Attorney documents are an important part of your estate plan.
Your Will or Trust covers what happens to your affairs after you pass away. Power of Attorney documents come into play while you are still living and help your trusted family or friends manage your day-to-day affairs.
Generally, Power of Attorney documents are divided into two categories — Medical and Financial.
Medical Power of Attorney
This Power of Attorney is exactly what the name implies. The person you put in charge can handle healthcare decisions if you become incapacitated. This includes authorizing medical treatments, surgeries, etc.
Financial Power of Attorney
Like the Medical Power of Attorney, a Financial POA allows your attorney-in-fact to manage your financial decisions. This includes accessing bank information, paying bills, etc. This document is no longer valid once you pass away.
In addition to Power of Attorney documents, a comprehensive estate plan should include other important documents in addition to a Will or Trust. Your Will or Trust covers what happens to your affairs after you pass away, but these ancillary documents are most important while you are still living.
Directive to Physicians
This document is sometimes called a “living will,” or what some refer to as the document that tells your family and doctors if you want to “pull the plug.” This document gives your family guidance on your wishes if you are ever on life-saving medical treatments.
This document names the friends and or family members you authorize to have information from doctors or other healthcare professionals. If you are having surgery or are in the hospital, this document authorizes health care workers to give updates on your status.
Declaration of Guardian
This is another “just in case” document and comes into play if you have dementia or another debilitating disease that prevents you from managing your affairs. If a court-created guardianship ever became necessary, this document tells the court who you trust to be the guardian of your affairs. It also details if there is anyone you want to disqualify from ever obtaining that position.
Call Caitlyn Ashley Law today!!
Having a plan for the future is the most important gift you can give yourself and your family. Granted, none of us will ever know for sure what is around every corner in life. And just thinking about the what-ifs — what if I were to die or become incapacitated tomorrow; what if my child with special needs has no one to care for her; what if all my “stuff” isn’t passed onto the right people — can be overwhelming. But having a plan that accounts for your family’s unique circumstances, puts your affairs in order, has concrete solutions to your concerns, lays out your wishes and goals, and protects your family’s future provides peace of mind for the road ahead.
Caitlyn Ashley Law in Denton, Texas, will counsel you on which documents best suit your needs and ensure they are flexible enough to meet your changing needs for years to come.