A power of attorney is a powerful, multipurpose estate planning tool that allows you to designate someone you trust to handle your affairs on your behalf, when you are unable to do so. You, as the principal, can choose someone to be authorized to act as your “agent” or “attorney-in-fact.”
A “Durable” Power of Attorney is a particular type of power of attorney that remains in effect even after the principal becomes incapacitated, unlike a standard power of attorney. A durable power of attorney can also be created to only become effective after the principal becomes incapacitated. The choice is yours.
Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care in Fayetteville
A Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare allows you to name an agent to make health care decisions for you if you become incapacitated. The authority given to the agent can include the power to consent to or withdraw from any type of medical treatment, even if death results.
Some people combine a Durable Power of Attorney with a Living Will. A Living Will is another estate planning tool in which a person indicates his or her wishes in case they are unable to make medical decisions for themselves. This document usually provides more of the specific instructions that the agent will be required to follow. You can use your living will to say as much or as little as you wish about the kind of health care you want to receive. Despite the name, a living will bears no relation to a conventional will used to leave property to others at death. When a living will and a durable power of attorney for health care are combined, it is usually referred to as an “Advance Directive.”
Benefits of a durable power of attorney.
An important benefit of a durable power of attorney is that you have the opportunity to discuss your future medical treatment plans and health care wishes with your family members now, while you are still able to do so. You have a chance to explain your expectations and wishes are for future healthcare and/or life-saving measures. A well-drafted durable power of attorney will eliminate the need for your family to debate over decisions regarding your health care. Instead, your wishes are written in a legal document, which is always the best evidence of your intent.
Essentially, having a durable power of attorney provides peace of mind for everyone. Executing a power of attorney can lessen the burden on your family during what would no doubt be a stressful time. Taking care of this in advance, can be a great comfort to your family.
How do I revoke a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care?
You can always revoke a Power of Attorney by giving written notice to the attorney-in-fact or agent. It is also a good idea to file a copy of the letter revoking the power of attorney with the court. That way there will be no dispute or uncertainty about your revocation. With a Durable Power of Attorney, if you become incompetent, only the court can revoke the powers. Typically, this process would be initiated by someone who petitions the court on your behalf and alleges that the agent has, in some way, violated his or her responsibilities.