Will your estate plan benefit from powers of attorney?
If you are new to estate planning, you might not understand what one or more powers of attorney can do for you and your family. These legal documents empower you to address several different issues in your estate plan.
As a bonus, well-drafted powers of attorney can give you peace of mind from knowing that your affairs are in order. They can also provide your loved ones with guidance if you become incapacitated due to illness or injury.
Financial power of attorney
Unfortunately, financial obligations carry on even if you become too ill or injured to attend to them yourself. If you care about autonomy and independence, a financial power of attorney is one of the most critical documents in your estate plan.
First, you must choose an individual (agent) you trust to act in your stead when you cannot address your financial issues. Examples of what your designated agent can do on your behalf include:
- Pay your bills
- Manage your property
- Engage in real estate negotiations
- File and pay your taxes
You can choose what powers you wish your agent to have as long as they do not violate any laws.
Health care power of attorney
A medical or health care power of attorney works much like a financial power of attorney. You choose someone you trust to make medical decisions for you in case of incapacitation. Examples of what you can include in this document include:
- Continue or terminate artificial respiration
- Accept or refuse diagnostic procedures
- Accept or refuse specific treatments
- Specify how long to remain on life support
As you can see, powers of attorney add much personal value to your existing estate plan. Learning more about California estate planning can help you decide what powers of attorney you need to round out your estate plan.