Creating an estate plan that clearly outlines your wishes can help to ensure your loved ones know exactly what to do. Some people are focused on what will happen after they die, but you also need to think about what happens if you become incapacitated.
Becoming incapacitated means you can’t make decisions for yourself. Instead, you need someone else to make those for you. This isn’t always easy to do, but it’s crucial that you name someone so they can do what’s in your best interests.
What are the duties the person has to do?
The exact duties depend on the powers they’re given.
- Power of attorney for healthcare: This person makes medical decisions that aren’t covered in the advance directive.
- Power of attorney for finances: This person takes care of your assets. They can spend money, pay bills and buy or sell assets.
The person you name as power of attorney should be able to put their own wishes aside so they can make decisions that are right for you. It’s usually best if you can talk to them ahead of time to let them know if there’s anything you feel strongly about. Remember, the financial power of attorney ends when you die because those duties are taken over by the person handling your estate.
Taking the time to get the estate plan set up properly can reduce the effort your loved ones have to make when it’s time. You can simplify this process by working with someone who’s familiar with your wishes and the applicable laws. Be sure you get started now since you never know when something might happen.