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The Importance of a Durable Power of Attorney

Life does not always go the way we imagine it will and, if you wish to protect yourself from a loss of autonomy due to illness or injury, you should understand the importance of a durable power of attorney. For many, planning for the dire circumstances that might render us unable to manage our financial affairs is not an easy possibility to consider. However, it is necessary if you wish to make life easier for you and your family.

How Can I Benefit from a Durable Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney is essentially a legal document that imbues another individual of your choosing with the ability to act in your place. A durable power of attorney gives one the ability to care for your medical needs and finances if you ever become incapacitated. On the other hand, nondurable power of attorney end when or if the person who made them loses mental capacity.

If you become mentally incapacitated and do not have a durable power of attorney, you will likely end up in court, where a judge will appoint a guardian or conservator. There is no guarantee that the appointed person is someone whom you would have agreed to and, moreover, the choices he or she makes might be completely against your wishes and values. Unfortunately, without a durable power of attorney, not much else can be done.

Keeping it Separate

Generally, it is best to keep financial and healthcare matters separate rather than include them both in one power of attorney document. Your healthcare documents likely contain a vast array of personal details and feelings that you might not necessarily want your financial broker to know. Although it is possible to merge them into a single document, keeping them separate will make your life easier.

Your medical power of attorney will state your wishes for medical care if you are too ill to voice them yourself. That said, this legal document is only as useful as you make it, so it is crucial to state your treatment preferences or medical procedures you do not wish to endure. Your financial power of attorney gives the person of your choosing the power to handle financial transactions on your behalf. You do not necessarily need to give the individual unlimited power over your finances, however. You can choose how much or how little authority you wish to bestow.

Reach Out to Our Experienced Estate Planning Team Today!

No one can anticipate exactly what the future holds, but there are steps we can all take to protect ourselves against some of the worst-case scenarios. At Rivera Aguilar Law Firm, P.A., our estate planning team will help you create a durable power of attorney that can make life easier for you and your family if you ever become incapacitated and cannot care for yourself. Although it is troubling to think of a future where you cannot make these decisions for yourself, it is worse to be unprepared.

Contact our law office today at (954) 909-0117 to schedule a consultation with our knowledgeable estate planning attorney.