An estate plan can do more than simply provide for your heirs in the event of your death. When you create a comprehensive estate plan, you’re giving yourself the peace of mind that comes with knowing your estate is prepared for a number of eventualities that might arise to complicate your future.
The Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care
When putting together an estate plan, a Branson estate planning lawyer will typically suggest including a number of important documents, in addition to a will. One such document is the durable power of attorney for health care (also known as medical power of attorney).
You may already have a nondurable power of attorney in your estate plan, but in order to be effective, a health care power of attorney needs to be durable. When a power of attorney is nondurable, it expires when you become incapacitated. A durable power of attorney, however, only becomes effective if you become incapacitated and can’t make your own decisions.
Since the point of a health care power of attorney is to have the person you’ve appointed make medical decisions for you if you’re too ill to do so yourself, you need your power of attorney for health care to be a durable one.
3 Reasons Why You Need a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care
There are three top reasons why you should include a health care power of attorney in your estate plan:
- Living will vs health care power of attorney. Even if you have a living will as part of your estate plan, you should also consider adding a medical power of attorney. A living will becomes effective only when you’re permanently incapacitated. A power of attorney for health care, however, allows your appointed agent to step in when your incapacitation is only temporary.
- Less reliance on individual family members. You may have already explained to your immediate family members how you’d like your health care professionals to proceed if you become incapacitated. But the problem is, it can be difficult to rely on your loved ones to follow your wishes during this very difficult time in their lives. For example, they may not remember your exact instructions, or your wishes might conflict with how they wish to proceed.
- Reducing the burden on your loved ones. One final reason to implement a power of attorney for health care is to reduce the burden on your loved ones that come with having to make decisions that could potentially have life or death consequences. With a medical power of attorney in place in your estate plan, you’re effectively removing this burden from your loved ones’ shoulders during what will likely be an extremely stressful time in their lives.
A Branson Estate Planning Lawyer Can Help
Consult a Branson estate planning lawyer at Parks & Jones to get started on your durable power of attorney for health care. Our experienced attorneys can help you build an estate plan that’s comprehensive enough to bring you the peace of mind you’re seeking.