POWERS OF ATTORNEY
Sudden illness or injury can leave anyone totally incapacitated. Or, the infirmities of age can compromise an older adult’s ability to fully function independently. Under such circumstances, concerned loved ones may feel compelled to act, but may lack the legal authority to do so. This can delay essential care, threatening your loved one’s health and welfare when he or she is most vulnerable. Powers of attorney are documents that convey legal authority to act in the name of another person for his or her health and welfare. A power of attorney can grant broad authority or be very limited in scope. We help you prepare for contingencies based on the specific circumstances surrounding you and your loved one.
STATUTORY POWER OF ATTORNEY
The Statutory Power of Attorney grants the attorney-in-fact (agent) authority to act on the principal’s behalf on a potentially broad range of financial, property and legal issues. The agent might handle matters as simple as monthly bills and general oversight or more complex matters like investments, real estate transactions and taxes. The Statutory Power of Attorney allows much flexibility in granting certain authorities but withholding others. Multiple agents can be appointed if there is a desire for shared responsibilities.
HEALTHCARE POWER OF ATTORNEY AND LIVING WILL
A Healthcare (or Medical) Power of Attorney grants the attorney-in-fact (agent) authority to make medical decisions for the principal if the principal is unable to make his or her own decisions. These range of decisions can vary from deciding where to receive treatment, whether to enter a nursing home, input on prescription drugs and can even include end-of-life issues. These decisions often have to be made during challenging times and it can be of great assistance to have a trusted person with clear authority to act.
A Living Will (or Advance Directive) is a document that directs what kind of care the principal should receive, or not receive, if certain conditions exist in the future. The most common living will states that a person does not wish to receive life-sustaining procedures, such as being placed on a ventilator, to keep him or her alive if he or she is in a state of permanent unconsciousness from which there is no likelihood of recovery. The living will, however, can be drafted in such a manner to clearly state your specific wishes, which may include whether and how you want to receive nutrition.