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Who will make decisions for you if you become incapacitated?

On Behalf of | Apr 19, 2024 | Estate Planning

An adult who’s creating an estate plan might be focused on the ways in which they can pass down their assets to their beneficiaries. While that’s an important part of estate planning, planning for the unexpected is another critical consideration.

If you’re getting your estate plan together, this is the time for you to make plans for your affairs in case you ever become incapacitated due to injury, illness or advanced age. There are two critical issues that you’ll need to think about when it comes to setting up the power of attorney designations – finances and medical care.

Financial power of attorney

The person you name as financial power of attorney can make all the money decisions you would normally make. This includes paying your bills and handling investments. They can buy and sell property on your behalf. You can even set specific limits on their powers.

Healthcare power of attorney

Your healthcare power of attorney will make decisions about your medical care. They work closely with your doctors to determine what to do. The decisions they make must also be in line with the information in your advanced directives, which are written instructions about your care.

Traits of a power of attorney

A person who’s named as your power of attorney must be able to make decisions that are in your best interests. They can’t think about what they want. They must be trustworthy and able to make decisions under pressure.

It may be best for you to discuss your wishes about everything with the person or persons who you name. This will give them the opportunity to ask you questions and get clarification about anything that’s not clear.