If you are worried about becoming incapacitated, such that you are no longer able to manage your own finances or healthcare, you may wish to create a power of attorney. We use two types in our estate planning, here at Casterline Law.
- Financial Power of Attorney
- Healthcare Power of Attorney
As the names imply, one handles financial matters and the other handles healthcare.
Power of attorney is when you appoint a person to manage decisions on your behalf as a ‘attorney-in-fact’. So, power of attorney is a powerful legal tool in estate planning and it is an important part of the reason that estate plans should be kept up to date as possible. You don’t want your power of attorney going to someone that you no longer trust.
Financial power of attorney handles over financial matters to a chosen representative in the case that you become incapacitated or otherwise incapable of managing your own financial decisions. You may wish to specify that power of attorney is only valid when you have been declared incapacitated by a doctor.
Healthcare power of attorney is similar to financial power of attorney, only that your chosen representative will be making healthcare decisions. This means that if you become incapable of making your own long-term care decisions due to illness or incapacity, then your chosen attorney-in-fact will be able to carry out your wishes for you.