Generally, a Power of Attorney (POA) is a document that allows someone you specify to act on your behalf. These should be part of everyone’s estate plan since they can minimize the impact of unforeseen problems in the future. When it comes to individual estate planning, there are two main types of POA’s: a Financial/General POA and a Health Care POA. Each of them cover different issues so it’s a good idea to have both.
A Financial/General Power of Attorney designates someone you trust to act on your behalf in the event you are living, but either not capable of managing your own affairs or just wanting someone else to be able to manage or help with your affairs. This individual can act on your behalf in a full legal and/or financial capacity; however, a Power of Attorney does NOT take away your rights or capability to act for yourself. All adults, even married individuals, should have a Power of Attorney. If you wait until you need a Power of Attorney, it’s usually too late.
A Health Care Power of Attorney is basically the same as a General/Financial POA, except that the designated person will have access to your medical records and medical information, and they can make medical decisions for you in the healthcare and/or medical related arena. This person can do everything from picking up prescriptions for you, to making possible end-of-life medical decisions. Lastly, a Health Care POA is different than a Living Will or Health Care Directive.
If you don’t yet have a Financial/General Power of Attorney and Health Care Power of Attorney, then call the knowledgeable attorneys at Cooney Law Offices. Maybe you have POA’s that are a few years old and whoever you designated is no longer trustworthy or has passed away. We can discuss your options and update your POA your documents so they’re in line with your wishes. Cooney Law Offices. We can help!