When it comes to estate planning, perhaps the most well-known document or tool used is what is known as a will. As such, often, individuals think that so long as they have a will, their bases are covered in estate planning. Even though wills are important instruments in estate planning, this mistaken belief could not be further from the truth. This is the case because wills, on their own, can only accomplish so much. Given this reality, it is helpful to be introduced to various other instruments or documents that are used in estate planning. Today, we will focus our attention on two distinct yet similar devices: a general durable power of attorneys and a healthcare power of attorneys.
A general durable power of attorney is a document that goes into effect when someone is still alive but no longer capable of making decisions on their own. This document grants another individual the authority to conduct business for you. This means they can sign contracts, conduct your financial matters, etc. If you ever found yourself unable to make decisions on your own, having a general durable power of attorney ensures you were able to preselect your this decision-maker rather than having one appointed for you.
On the other hand, a healthcare power of attorney is a very similar document, but it is limited to healthcare decisions that one is no longer able to make for him or herself. This document gives you the ability to elect or reject certain types of medical care should you later on not have the capacity to make those decisions at the moment. Alternatively, a healthcare power of attorney can also be used to appoint an individual to make these sorts of decisions for you, using their discretion. Once again, this document is a way of giving you a “say so” in decisions, you would no longer be able to otherwise.
Given the crucial functions that these two interrelated documents serve, we at King Law Offices consider both a general durable power of attorney and a healthcare power of attorney to be vital to any estate plan. As such, we include these documents in each of our three curated estate planning packages. This allows us and our clients to rest assured that should our clients require someone else to make financial or medical decisions for them, they will be made by someone they can trust. Accordingly, when you retain our firm for any estate planning package, you can know you will be covered when it comes to these documents.
Alternatively, if you have previously had a will prepared (which still reflects your wishes), but have not had either of these documents prepared, we would be glad to assist you. This way, you too can ensure you are prepared for whatever life throws your way.
If you have questions about the power of attorneys or estate planning at large, please feel free to contact us today. At King Law, we have a team of skilled attorneys and case managers who stand by ready to assist you from your consultation through your signing appointment. Please call us at 866-318-6086 (KING) to schedule a consultation with one of our dedicated attorneys throughout western North Carolina and upstate South Carolina.