Drafting a Durable Power of Attorney is an act of love - By detailing how you want your healthcare and finances handled in the event of an emergency, you are sparing your family and friends the unpleasant task of making such decisions in a stressful time.
A general Power of Attorney is a document that grants your chosen representative legal authority to act on your behalf for your financial affairs. This person is often referred to as your agent or your attorney-in-fact. The person is required to act in your best interests. The general Power of Attorney is typically extinguished upon death, revocation, or divorce.
A healthcare Power of Attorney designates the person who will make medical decisions for you in an emergency. Even though you may have set out your wishes in your "Living Will," such documents cannot cover every circumstance. The person who has a Power of Attorney for healthcare is the person who will make decisions not covered by your healthcare directive. In order to create a healthcare Power of Attorney, most states only require that you be at least 18 years old and competent when you create the document. This document takes effect when your doctor declares that you lack the "capacity" to make your own health care decisions. The healthcare Power of Attorney is generally only extinguished upon your death, revocation by you or a court, or upon divorce if the power of attorney was granted to the ex-spouse.
The process of creating a legal document can be a daunting task. If you need legal advice about creating a Durable Power of Attorney, give us a call at 253.858.5434 to see how we can help. We proudly serve clients throughout Washington and Idaho and are available to meet in person, by phone, or via Skype or FaceTime.