Powers of Attorney and Living Wills

Planning for the future is an important step to take. At Henry & Beaver, LLP we can help you plan for your future and protect your family. When discussing your estate planning options, it is vital to discuss your powers of attorney and living wills. We are here to help you understand your options and help you draft the best-suited estate plan for you.

What is a Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney is a binding, legal document that grants another person or organization the power to act on your behalf. Your agent may be able to make financial, legal, or medical decisions for you, should you be unavailable or unable to do so. There are several different power of attorney options, which should be discussed with your attorney and your potential agent.

General Power of Attorney

This will allow your agent to act on your behalf for a wide variety of transactions. These transactions can include but are not limited to:

  • Banking transactions
  • Buying or selling property
  • Entering into contracts
  • Overseeing stocks
  • Buying or selling investments

A general power of attorney is typically used when you will not be able to perform such duties due to medical conditions or other circumstances.

Limited Power of Attorney

A limited power of attorney allows your agent to act in a specific situation such as selling a house or signing a contract. This type of agreement is generally used when you are unavailable to conduct the transaction yourself because you are traveling or perhaps have a temporary medical emergency.

Durable Power of Attorney

A durable power of attorney covers similar situation as the general power of attorney but it remains in effect if you become incapacitated. It is important to determine if this is the best option for you. If you do decide that a durable power of attorney is the best option, be sure to select a trusted person to be your agent.

What is a living will?

A living will does not refer to a last will and testament that sets forth property division upon death. A living will is also known as an advanced directive and is a legal document that allows you to explain the end-of-life medical care you will receive, should you be unable to communicate with doctors and nurses.

Why have a living will?

A living will can provide guidance to your family members and doctors should you be unable to express your desires. If you wish to receive ‘palliative care,’ or care that decreases your pain and suffering, but do not want to be resuscitated, be sure to explain that in your living will. In addition to helping your healthcare provider and family understand your wishes, it will also protect your loved ones from having to make difficult medical decisions.

When does a living will become active?

A living will can become active the moment it has been validated by the state where you live, or when it is determined that you can no longer communicate your medical wishes. In order for the living will to be valid, all state requirements for notarization and witnesses must be met. An experienced estate-planning attorney can help you draft a living will and other documents for your estate plan.

Contact Experienced Attorneys

Creating a living will and deciding on a power of attorney is an important part of any estate plan. At Henry & Beaver, LLP., we understand that your biggest concern is your family. Let us help you create an estate plan that explains your wishes, while protecting your family from difficult decisions.

If you are interested in drafting a living will and other estate-planning documents, contact the experience Lebanon estate lawyers at Henry & Beaver, LLP., today. We offer a free initial consultation. Call our office at (717) 274-3644 to schedule an appointment today.