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Estate planning is not simply about protecting your assets for yourself and to pass down to future generations. A strong estate plan should also provide protection in the event that age, injury, or illness leaves you unable to make business, financial, or medical decisions for yourself.
Financial Power of Attorney and Advance Directive for Health Care legal documents are used to provide peace of mind that the person of your choice will be the one making decisions for you should you ever become unable to make them for yourself. Our attorneys offer Financial Power of Attorney and Advance Directive for Health Care/Living Will documents in all estate plans.
A Financial Power of Attorney allows you to appoint an agent to manage all or part of your financial or business affairs in the event of your incapacity. An Advance Directive for Health Care allows you to appoint someone (your “health care power of attorney” or “health care proxy”) to make healthcare decisions for you if you are unable to communicate. Also, a Living Will is typically included in such a document which permits you to state in advance your instructions and wishes about the use of life-prolonging medical care if you become terminally ill or in a permanent coma and are unable to communicate. The document permits you to provide such instructions at a time when you are still able to “speak for yourself” and prevents placing a heavy decision-making burden on a loved one.
Such legal documents avoid the delay and significant legal costs and fees associated with petitioning for a court-appointed guardian and/or conservator, and also, your financial affairs would become a public record due to the court-appointed conservator’s requirement to provide an accounting to the court.
If you wish to discuss such legal documents, please contact us at 205-349-1910 to schedule a consultation.