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power of attorney and living will

Power of Attorney

Durable Power of Attorney

A durable power of attorney is a legal document in which one individual gives another individual, called the “attorney-in-fact",” or “agent,” legal authority to act on the principal’s behalf for medical and/or financial decisions in the event of illness or a sudden catastrophic event.  When an individual names an attorney-in-fact, one may specify how much power the agent has, or over which specific issues the agent is given authority.  While a power of attorney is commonly used to enable an agent to care for an individual’s affairs when he/she has become mentally incapacitated, this device may be helpful in any number of situations.  A durable power of attorney is important and necessary to protect and preserve assets and prevent the necessity of a guardianship proceeding, which can be time consuming and costly. 

Living Will

A Living Will is a set of instructions for your power of attorney to provide guidance of your wishes in the case of a terminal illness or persistent  vegetative state and death is imminent.  A completed Living Will is a valuable component of your estate planning package.