Be sure to include a power of attorney in your estate plan

On behalf of Scaringi Law posted in Estate Planning on Thursday, December 15, 2016.

Like other Pennsylvania residents, you might have considered how to provide for your family after you pass away. However, you also need to consider who will provide for you if you become unable to make decisions for yourself at some point in the future due to an accident or illness. Including a health care power of attorney and a financial power of attorney in your estate plan will allow a trusted person to care for you when you need it.

A living will might provide directions for the types of life-saving care you would like, but you still need to ensure that these choices are carried out and that any other decisions related to your health are made by someone you trust. This is the function of a health care power of attorney. It would be beneficial to choose a person who understands your wishes and is willing to carry them out if needed.

While someone is taking care of your health, financial decisions may also need to be made on your behalf. Bills need to be paid, insurance adjusters need to be dealt with and your bank accounts may need to be accessed, among other monetary-related issues. You can give the individual you appoint as much or as little power as you are comfortable with in a general power of attorney.

Not only will a health care power of attorney and a general power of attorney help you, but it will also keep your family members from having to petition the court for the right to take care of your health and finances if you are incapacitated. Powers of attorney allow those appointed to act on your behalf right away. Without them, any delays could jeopardize your health and prove costly for your finances. When sitting down with a Pennsylvania estate-planning attorney, these two documents and a living will should be a priority.


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