Before You Are Incapacitated
No one wants to consider becoming incapacitated but it happens. And once it has happened, it is too late to create helpful legal documents, such as a power of attorney or an advance care directive, which is often called a ‘living will.’
Powers Of Attorney
A power of attorney allows another person, usually your spouse or adult child, to take actions on your behalf in their best judgement. At Julie Glocker Pierce, LLC, I prepare what is called a durable power of attorney. It works during your lifetime. It has no effect after death.
If someone files a petition to have you declared incompetent, it becomes ineffective. But during your lifetime, if your family is getting along, and no one attempts to have you found to be incompetent, a durable power of attorney is a very inexpensive and effective way of managing your assets and your needs if you cannot.
A living will allows you to tell your family what you would like to happen if you are terminally ill and only kept alive because of artificial means. Some people consider IVs and feeding tubes to be artificial, and some just see them as providing food and hydration in a compassionate way.
You get to make the choice if you would like to see these things removed or maintained. By making the decision yourself in advance of being incapacitated, you save your family from the agony of trying to determine what you would have wanted.
Act While You Are Able
By completing a pre-need guardianship you get to determine who will serve in that role if it were ever to become necessary.
When I create a power of attorney, it includes a health care surrogate. A health care surrogate makes medical decisions for you if you are unable to do so.
This is different from a living will in that it includes medical decisions that are not end-of-life decisions. Allow us to help you exert control over end-of-life decisions and save your family from having to make sometimes very hard, often conflicted, decisions.