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Powers of attorney are important, but does everyone need them?

Our Michigan readers may be familiar with several of our previous posts, which bring to light some more information about the various documents involved in a comprehensive estate plan -- a will, trusts, etc. One of our recent posts detailed the importance of an oft-overlooked part of a comprehensive estate plan: powers of attorney. These documents, which some people may not be as familiar with as they might be with something like a will, also play key roles in laying out certain desires and wishes to be followed.

While the previous power of attorney post went over the two different documents needed -- a durable power of attorney and a health care power of attorney -- one aspect of these documents which was not discussed was just how important they can be even to the youngest of Americans.

by for a while without having a comprehensive estate plan drawn up, these two powers of attorney are still essential to have. The health care power of attorney can be especially significant, because, even though the 18 year old who is still on his or her parent's health insurance might believe that their parents would make their health care decisions if they were to become incapacitated, that is not always the case.

Even young Michigan residents need to look into getting a health care power of attorney executed. The document designates a patient advocate for the planner, therefore giving legal effect to their wishes on who they would like to make those hard decisions, if and when they were in the unfortunate position of not being able to make those decisions themselves. The power of attorney can be one of the most overlooked of estate planning documents, but planners should never underestimate the document's importance, even for the young.

Source: Forbes, "The Forbes Guide To Estate Planning," Janet Novack, Oct. 14, 2012

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