A History Of Growing Trust In Kentucky

What are the “powers” in powers of attorney?

On Behalf of | May 25, 2023 | family law

In Kentucky, powers of attorney are a specific set of capabilities that you designate to a person. These are decision-making abilities over your person and your estate. However, there’s a large difference between the notion of powers and knowing exactly what they are:

Healthcare decisions

When you create a durable power of attorney, the person can be designated as your healthcare surrogate as part of your living will. Your living will outline many of your preferences in regard to your care, such as:

  • Resuscitation preference
  • Organ donation
  • Life prolonging treatment

While those seem like pretty comprehensive choices, if you do not have the capacity to make your own decisions, your healthcare surrogate has a lot to decide. They’ll have to make decisions about your comfort during life-prolonging treatment. They’ll have to decide which course of treatment makes the most sense for you, if there are multiple options.

Financial decisions

When you become medically incapacitated, you often lose the ability to manage your assets. The individual you designate with powers of attorney will have the ability to sell assets, withdraw funds, and otherwise make any decision over your finances you would. However, this person would have a fiduciary duty to you and the estate and have personal liability for any violation of that duty.

Removing durable power of attorney can be difficult.

It is a simple process to remove power of attorney from someone, provided you are not incapacitated. If the courts decide you no longer have the capacity to make your own decisions, it can be a complex legal fight. Your ability to trust your healthcare surrogate and the people who have financial control of your assets is important. However, sometimes people trust the wrong person. If you are in a position where you believe you are being mistreated by someone with powers of attorney or if you believe a loved one’s power of attorney is abusing their position, you can take action.