Will Your Wishes Be Respected If You Are Incapacitated?
While planning your estate often focuses on what will happen after you pass away, that is only one element that you should consider. Illness or aging could leave you unable to manage your financial affairs or to make important decisions about your medical care, and this possibility should be considered as a part of your estate plan. A Power of Attorney – a legal document that gives someone the power to make these important decisions about financial or medical care for you if you are unable to do so yourself – might be the best option.
At Paulsen & Reissner, PLLC, we can help you establish Powers of Attorney, exploring your options for medical or financial Powers of Attorney. From our office in Maricopa County or other locations, our experienced estate planning attorneys will help you determine which forms of Powers of Attorney you want to establish, which powers you want to allow them to make on your behalf and which person you want to choose as your agent. We will work directly with you to ensure that your wishes will be respected in a difficult time and to relieve the burden that may fall on your loved ones.
The Different Forms Of Powers Of Attorney
In Arizona, there are two different types of Powers of Attorney:
- Springing Powers of Attorney only takes effect if you are incapacitated and unable to manage your affairs because of that incapacity.
- Durable Powers of Attorney allows the person you designate to act on your behalf immediately after the document is signed.
Powers of Attorney are also divided into two important categories: financial and medical. Financial Powers of Attorney allows your representative to make financial decisions like buying or selling property, filing tax returns, managing stocks and accessing your bank transactions and safety deposit box. Medical Powers of Attorney, on the other hand, gives your designated person to make important decisions about your medical care, including the hiring of caregivers, decisions about life-sustaining medical care and other directives.
Because Powers of Attorney gives the person you choose extensive power to make decisions on your behalf, it is important to consider your options carefully. It is also critical to make these decisions and to carefully craft your Power of Attorney documents before you suffer a serious disability or incapacity to ensure that the person making your health care and financial decisions is someone you can trust.