For the most part, our loved ones know us fairly well. They understand our interests, what we don’t like and even our aspirations. But when it really comes down to it, do you feel like they really know you and what you would do in a given situation? This is what needs to be considered and addressed when drafting powers of attorney. Many individuals in Michigan and elsewhere are faced with the task of naming a loved one to make their financial and health decisions if they are deemed incompetent. This is anything but an easy task to complete.
Whether you are including a power of attorney in an estate plan or are drafting this document because you are about to undergo a medical procedure, it is imperative to understand how these documents work and what could happen if the powers do memorialize in a valid document.
What powers are granted with a power of attorney? The two major goals of a power of attorney is to communicate exactly what you want and to remind our loved ones of our wishes in a stressful time. Depending on your wishes and goals, you could draft one or both types of powers of attorney. A durable power of attorney is for property. This allows a designated person to handle and make decisions regarding your investments, bank accounts, property and other money management activities, such as paying bills.
Additionally, you could draft a power of attorney for healthcare decisions. The goal of this document is to designate an individual to makes medical decisions for you if you are no longer able to. One does not need to be elderly to have such a document because issues could occur during a surgery or one could be involved in an accident. We can never predict what the future hold, so it is important to not put these documents off until we are old.
Drafting an estate plan can be a complex and multifaceted process. Thus, it is important to gain a full picture of the documents this entails and how best to go about drafting them. With regards to a power of attorney, you need to ensure your wishes are adequately communicated and you have named a person you can trust acting on those wishes.
Source: Jg-tc.com, “FACTS FOR FAMILIES: The “Power” of a Power of Attorney,” Cheri Burcham, August 15, 2017