Generally speaking, a document that authorizes another person to make decisions for you when you cannot is known as a power of attorney. When you create this document, the person who can act on your behalf is the agent, and the person they are representing is referred to as the principal. When you create your estate plan, you can designate agents in medical and financial powers of attorney to act on your behalf.
Healthcare Power of Attorney
Your medical power of attorney designates an individual who has the authority to make medical decisions on your behalf when you no longer have the capacity. Although you can choose nearly any capable adult as your agent, know that there may some restrictions to your choice. For example, you may be unable to choose someone who is employed by your doctor or your healthcare provider.
Financial Power of Attorney
The main difference between a medical power of attorney and a financial power of attorney is that the minute you sign your financial power of attorney, it goes into effect. This means you can use your financial agent even if you are not incapacitated. Keep in mind that if your financial situation revolves around buying or selling real property, your closing agent or your lender may require that you use their power of attorney form.
Do you have questions about creating a power of attorney for medical or financial purposes? Contact us today at Bennet Guthrie PLLC for all of your estate planning questions.