Most adults know that they need to have an estate plan in place. What many don’t realize is that having powers of attorney designations is also important in estate planning. Most people need two of these designations – one for their health care and another for finances.
It’s possible to allow the same person to be named to both positions, but you may also decide to have one person handle one and someone else handle the other. The primary concern in these cases is that you choose someone who will follow your wishes.
Duties of the power of attorney
The person you name as the power of attorney has the ability to make decisions that you’d normally make. Because they’ll use their powers while you’re incapacitated, you must ensure that they know what you’d want them to do.
- A financial power of attorney enables the person to pay your bills. They can also sell, purchase, and transfer your assets. Choose someone who’s financially savvy for this position so you know your finances will remain intact.
- The medical power of attorney allows the person to make decisions about your health care. They’ll make decisions about matters that aren’t covered in your advanced directives document. If there are any aspects of medical care that you feel strongly about, you should discuss them with the person so they know what to do.
Naming powers of attorney for health care and finances is only one part of having a comprehensive estate plan. Working closely with someone to ensure that your plan covers you and your loved ones is important so you can have peace of mind.