People who are taking care of their estate planning should remember that their end-of-life plans should also be included. This means that you can’t just think about the assets that you have to leave for your loved ones.
One component of end-of-life planning is setting up a power of attorney for your health care and another one for your finances. These can take the pressure off your loved ones if you become incapacitated.
What does a power of attorney do?
A power of attorney gives someone permission to make decisions for you when you can’t make them yourself.
The health care power of attorney enables the named party to work with your medical team regarding your treatment if you are incapacitated for any reason. Your health care power of attorney can accept or decline treatment on your behalf (although their decisions can’t go against any advance directives you have in place). The person who has your financial power of attorney can make decisions regarding your assets and finances. This includes selling or purchasing assets and paying your bills.
You can set limits for the duties they can handle on your behalf, but these are definitely positions of trust. You should ensure that you choose someone for these duties who will act in your best interests. They should do the things that you would do if you were able to make those decisions. Being able to think logically despite the emotions they feel is also important.
Your estate planning attorney can help you to ensure that you get the proper documentation prepared. Taking care of this as soon as possible can help to give peace of mind. Once you have it done, remember to review your estate plans periodically so that you’re sure they continue to meet their needs.