There are several essential legal documents that should be included in an estate plan in case the estate planner becomes incapacitated. These documents can help ensure the estate planner and the estate planner’s interests are protected if they are incapacitated and unable to care for themselves. In this post, we will briefly discuss two of them: powers of attorney and living wills.
Powers of attorney
There are two types of powers of attorney that can help estate planners. One type is a power of attorney for medical care. The other type is a power of attorney for financial affairs. A medical power of attorney, which may also be referred to as an advance medical directive or healthcare proxy, gives the designated agent the power to make healthcare decisions for the estate planner. Similarly, a power of attorney for financial affairs give the designated agent the power to make financial decisions for the estate planner and to manage their financial affairs.
A living will is another document to include in an estate plan. It details the life-sustaining or life-ending decisions of the estate planner if they become incapacitated. It specifies the life-sustaining or life-ending healthcare decisions of the estate planner. The designated agent included in living will have the authority to make those decisions for the estate planner as specified.
Estate planning is important for everyone and a component of that is to plan for circumstances when the estate planner cannot make decisions for themselves. Living wills and powers of attorney are useful tools to do that estate planners should be familiar with.