Is A Power Of Attorney Right For You?
After a will, the most important single document for those in Virginia thinking about their future is the power of attorney. There are really two important powers of attorney:
- Health care power of attorney – In this document, you appoint a person or persons who can make medical decisions for you in the event of your incapacity.
- Financial power of attorney – Sometimes known as the durable power of attorney, in it, you name a trusted person or persons to have decision-making authority over your business and finances.
It is a daunting thing to draw up a document contemplating your own infirmity. It requires courage and people in your life in whom you repose trust. But it is a great blessing to your loved ones to have these papers drawn up in advance, so that if the day comes when you need this level of help, the path is clear.
It’s Best To Have Your Bases Covered
There are other documents we would like to mention to you at Coates, Battle & Tyree. All of them clarify what your intentions are. All of them empower you to have control over your life and your assets even when your health is failing:
- Living trust – Also known as a revocable trust, this trust document goes beyond what a will does, allowing you to pass along your property without requiring probate. It lets you control the distribution to your beneficiaries over a period of time instead of all at once. Living trusts can even reduce estate taxes. We invite you to discuss this powerful planning tool.
- Living will – This is an end-of-life advance medical directive you can make, stating your wishes in the event of terminal illness, an end-stage condition or a permanent vegetative state. It lets you say what measures you wish to be taken on your behalf, and which measures you prefer to forego. You can appoint a person or persons to speak for you if you are unable to do so.
- HIPAA authorization – As you know, federal law now prohibits doctors from sharing your medical information without your consent. This statement lets providers speak with your family or other loved ones about your condition.