Even if you're young and enjoying great health, you may still become temporarily or permanently unable to manage your own affairs at some point in your life. This includes your finances and medical care. Don't think that it cannot happen to you, or that the possibility is way down the road. If you do, and you become incapacitated, there's no guarantee your wishes will be carried out. And your family may have to petition the court so that you have a guardian to act on your behalf.
Take control of your future, so that even if you cannot physically voice your desires, you have someone you can trust to do this for you.
Plan For Your Financial Affairs
Choose someone you trust that has sound financial management skills to give a durable power of attorney. You'll need to work with a lawyer to prepare a written document that meets the legal requirements in your state while also stating exactly what power you want this person to have in legal terms.
You'll need to state how one should determine you are incapacitated and unable to act on your own. This may be after a consultation with your family doctor, or a specialist. Whatever terms you feel are important.
You can cancel a durable power of attorney anytime you wish by sending the person you named to act on your behalf a written notice of cancellation.
Plan For Your Medical Care
Keep in mind that the person you give power over your health care to makes medical care decisions for you if or when you become unable to do so for yourself. If you have a family member who works in the medical field as a doctor or nurse, they are ideal people to give this decision-making power. However, you must also let the person you appoint know your own desires concerning medical care issues, like life support or certain procedures.
This is simply a durable power of attorney for health care, so it works just like the document you drew up for your financial affairs. The person you choose should understand your wishes, so the he or she feels comfortable in making medical decisions for you whether you are temporarily unable to or if you are dying. You should also pick a person who can carry out your wishes even though doing so may be emotionally difficult.
Legal decisions like these can be tough on your family and expensive if they have to petition the court to appoint a guardian. So talk to a lawyer who is experienced in estate planning and make sure your future decisions and wishes are carried out. (For more information, contact Auton-Beck Betty A Professional Law Corporation)