If something were to happen to you and you could no longer make decisions about your legal, financial, or health matters, would anyone be able to stand in your place? If your answer is no, it may be time to set up a power of attorney and a health care agent to act on your behalf.
Power of Attorney
A power of attorney (POA) is a document that allows you to authorize another person to act on your behalf on legal and/or financial matters if you become incapacitated. It is a good idea to discuss with your loved one whom he or she would trust to hold power of attorney before a health crisis strikes.
There are various kinds of POAs. A durable power of attorney allows an agent to manage all the affairs of the care recipient as soon as the care recipient becomes incapacitated. It does not have a set time period, but expires upon the care recipient's death. A non-durable POA is effective for a limited period or for a particular transaction. A springing power of attorney becomes effective at a future time (for example, only after the person reaches age 78) and only when a specific event occurs, such as the incapacitation of the principal or another triggering event; it can be durable or non-durable.
Health Care Agent/Directive
If your loved one loses the ability to make his or hew own medical decisions, a health care agent has the power to direct doctors, hospitals, and nursing facilities about medical care. The person designated as a health care agent should be someone who knows the care recipient well and will have his or her best interests at heart. A health care agent is usually included as part of the care recipient's health care directive and living will, which is a legal document that allows a patient to give specific instructions about medical treatment to be given when he or she is terminally ill or permanently unconscious.
Reed Financial Planning Services, LLC is here to help you and your family with your planning needs. Reach out to us today if we can be of any assistance to you.
Neither Voya Financial Advisors nor its representatives offer tax or legal advice. Please consult with your tax and legal advisors regarding your individual situation.
Information from Horsesmouth, LLC; written by Marian Raab
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