Living Will, Health Care Surrogate, and Power of Attorney
A Living Will, Health Care Surrogate, and Power of Attorney help by allowing you to decide who may make medical and financial decisions on your behalf when necessary. A designation of Health Care Surrogate, allows you to choose who will make medical decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated or unable to express your wishes. A Living Will takes pressure off of your loved ones by allowing you to make the decision in advance as to whether you would like your life to be artificially prolonged should you become terminally ill and require life to sustain medical care.
Executing a Durable Power of Attorney protects you and your family in the event that you become incapacitated, mentally or otherwise, and cannot manage your own finances. A Durable Power of Attorney allows you to appoint an agent or agents to act on your behalf for financial matters. The power of attorney allows you to choose exactly which powers you would like your agent to have, such as banking powers and real estate powers. If a Durable Power of Attorney is not executed prior to incapacity, then a family member will likely need to use the court system to obtain a guardianship over the incapacitated party, which requires formal oversight from the legal system and is often a substantial expense.
Benjamin Franklin said “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” You can prevent the worst case scenarios for your family by implementing a solid and professional estate plan before it’s too late.