Every estate plan needs health and financial powers of attorney

On behalf of Scaringi Law posted in Estate Planning on Wednesday, December 30, 2015.

Wills and trusts are the documents that most Pennsylvania residents think of when it comes to estate planning. However, an estate plan is much more than a vehicle to distribute property after death. It can also help individuals prepare for a time when they may not be able to make decisions for themselves.

Pennsylvania law separates powers of attorney into those for health care decisions and those for financial matters. When you are considering a person to appoint to make these decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated, it is important to be sure that it is someone you trust. Perhaps just as important is that the person you choose understands your wishes and perhaps has the same ideals. This could put you at ease knowing that your wishes will be carried out if the powers of attorney are needed.

Fortunately, you do not have to choose the same person to act as your agent in your durable power of attorney as you do for your health care power of attorney. It is advisable to ask the person or persons you would like to name in these documents whether they would be willing to serve. If the agent appointed refuses to serve when the time comes, your family members could end up spending additional time and money in court to secure the right to act on your behalf.

Outside of the obvious issues this could cause, it could also cause delays in your medical treatment and lead to financial issues. Having powers of attorney as part of your estate plan could help avoid these issues. The future is uncertain, and doing what you can to prepare for certain eventualities provides peace of mind for you and your family members. An attorney can help you devise a plan that meets your estate planning goals and will help ensure that your estate is handled in accordance with your wishes.


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