Whether you’re traveling or preparing for the unexpected, a power of attorney can protect you and your family. Do you know which of these documents you need? Are you surprised there is more than one type of power of attorney? If you are, you’re not alone.
Many people do not know there’s a power of attorney for medical decisions and one for financial issues.
Estate planning attorney Bill Henry explains the difference between these two crucial estate planning instruments.
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What Kind of Power of Attorney Do You Need?
If you have a medical power of attorney, how can you make decisions for someone over their financial affairs? In addition to this medical paperwork, you need its financial counterpart.
Here’s how each of these documents works:
Medical Power of Attorney
This document lets someone else to make medical decisions for you if you are incapacitated.
However, what if your agent (the individual making decisions on your behalf) needs to make pay bills for you. Does your medical power of attorney allow your agent to conduct financial business for you? The answer: no.
Financial Power of Attorney
If you want someone to be able to handle your finances if you’re debilitated you will need a financial power of attorney or, as it’s called in Colorado, a general durable power of attorney.
How to Avoid Problems for Your Loved Ones
The best way to prevent issues for your loved ones is to, while you’re well and lucid, create a complete estate plan.
If you become critically ill or develop dementia, it will be too late for you to appoint a medical and financial agent of your choosing.
Apply for Conservatorship
A family member of an incapacitated individual who does not have powers of attorney in place will have to ask the court to appoint them as a conservator. A conservatorship will let them make financial decisions on their behalf, pay bills, etc.
Create a Complete Estate Plan
Our estate planning attorneys will help you develop a solid estate plan, including the necessary medical and financial powers of attorney.
If you need to create or update your estate plan, call 303-688-0944 or click here to set up the meeting.