Financial and Medical Powers of Attorney
A well-drafted medical or financial power of attorney is the first line of defense against the unexpected. Getting your powers of attorney is one of the few protective actions you can take before a medical or financial crisis occurs. Yet many people overlook the utility of powers of attorney and deem them not as important as "getting our Wills done." Any spouse or caretaker child who has been denied access to bank accounts to pay bills or to medical records needed for a disability application, can tell you that powers of attorney are a necessity. For most of us, we have a much greater chance of becoming disabled than of dying (thank goodness!). A Will has no effect during your life. You need powers of attorney.
We believe that government has no business deciding if you need pain medicine or a tube in your stomach. These are highly personal and difficult decisions that should be made by you, not a distraught child, not a distant nephew, and definitely not the State. Naming an Agent and stating your desires in a medical power of attorney helps you to retain control over your life, even if you become disabled.
By executing a power of attorney when you have the mental capacity and the time to think through difficult choices, you are retaining control of your life for a time when you may be temporarily or permanently disabled. This planning benefits you and eases the burden on your loved ones who will be taking care of you and your affairs. A power of attorney not only tells your Agent what to do, but gives the Agent the authority to do it.
A good power of attorney will be general enough to authorize your Agent to do anything he or she must do to protect your rights and wishes, but not so broad as to be vague. A power of attorney should be specific enough for the hospital, government or financial institution to be convinced of and rely upon the authority you have given to your Agent.
Our attorneys can advise you of the different kinds of powers of attorney. We can explain to you the differences between a living will and a living Trust, and provide answers to questions you may have regarding a health care or advance medical directive or a HIPAA release. Is this power of attorney effective for selling my house or managing my shop? Does it expire? Is it effective if I move to another state? What if my agents' address changes; does it invalidate my power of attorney? What are my options if my Agent turns out to be untrustworthy? We have the answers to your questions.