Preparing for the future isn’t easy. Even if you think you’ve covered all the bases, your plan may be severely lacking if you haven’t taken the time to craft a plan for your own healthcare.
Only around a third of adults in the U.S. have advance directives in place. These documents are crucial for outlining how you wish to receive care. One of the most important of these decisions is assigning someone to take charge of your treatment once you’re no longer able.
Many chose to assign power of attorney to those they believe can handle their affairs. But the type of documents you use can make all the difference when it comes time for those people to step up. Assigning the wrong powers to someone you’re depending on can make it impossible for them to act.
Granting someone durable power of attorney will allow them to make legal decisions on your behalf, for things like property and finances. This will not include medical or healthcare choices. Your representative may not legally be able to handle your health concerns.
A medical power of attorney is like a durable assignment in that it lasts beyond incapacitation. The largest difference is that this focuses solely on handling your health. This will allow your appointee to have access to your medical history, speak with doctors on your behalf and make important medical decisions in line with your wishes.
Understanding which power of attorney grants which abilities is essential. Using the wrong authority can make it so those close to you may be powerless when it matters the most. Make sure you know what will let them care for you, and you could be on your way to a complete estate plan.