Advanced Directives: Medical and Financial Powers of Attorney
Each estate plan is different and should never be one size fits all. The discussions about a client’s planning goals and needs is just as important as the final documents. A severe disability or loss of a loved one can be devastating. Why compound that with a lack of planning that can lead to chaos, confusion and family disagreements. Taking the time to make your road map for your spouse or life partner your children and your family most often results in a simpler and more straightforward implementation of your wishes.
Planning for your family's future needs.
With a Will or Revocable Trust, you can plan for the special needs and circumstances of your family members based upon their age, health and ability to manage their finances. For example, do you want your children to receive their inheritance at age 18 or have their funds held in trust until they are older? Due to natural aging or medical conditions, will your spouse be capable of managing his or her finances? Should you create a trust for your spouse to assure that their inheritance is used for their needs as long as they are alive?
Who Chooses the Guardian for Your Children?
If you die without a Will, more than one family member may ask the Court to be appointed Guardian of your minor children. The Court’s choice may not be the person who you feel understands your parenting values and would best raise your children. Designating your children’s Guardian in your Will can help eliminate these problems and protect your children and family from costly and emotionally damaging custodial battles.
What if you become disabled? Who will make your medical decisions and manage your finances?
If you become temporarily or permanently disabled due to an accident or other medical issues, and you are unable or direct your own medical care or manage your finances, various family members can ask the court to appoint them as the guardian of your person and property.
If you have a properly written durable power of attorney that you sign now while you are capable of making your own decisions, then your appointed agent can act on your behalf in connection for both medical decisions and financial matters. With a power of attorney, you have chosen the agent. You have determined the scope of their authority I as to what they are or are not empowered to do.