Thinking about your health legal documents may not be at the top of your “fun things to do today” list. I get it. It can be scary thinking about the possibility of being temporarily or permanently incapacitated. “But I’m so healthy. That won’t happen to me.” Unfortunately, it can. Better to consider it now than when you are no longer able to handle your own affairs.
This month we are focusing on the health legal documents you need before you go to the hospital. If you missed any of the series so far, catch up with the links at the end of this post.
Continuing with our series, today we are going to discuss Power of Attorney.
The person designated in the Power of Attorney legally can do anything you would normally do.
The designated person can access your money, pay your bills, do your banking, decide and where you are going to live, among many other things.
If you are incapacitated for a long period of time, you need someone to handle your affairs while you are getting better.
Obviously, it is very important that you pick someone you trust. The person with your Power of Attorney can empty your bank account and make decisions for you that can greatly impact your life.
It is generally a good idea to select only one person. If you select two people, there may be disagreements among them and it may be difficult to get a clear answer on some things that must be decided. You can ask the person you are giving your Power of Attorney to discuss any significant decisions with other family members or friends, however, it is best to have one person ultimately making the decision. This is also helpful for the hospital and the healthcare providers so they know who to go to talk to for a decision.
If you don’t already have a Power of Attorney in place, speak with an estate planning attorney.
Taking a little uncomfortable time planning now could be beneficial to you and your loved ones later.
In my upcoming blog posts, I’ll discuss more health legal documents you should have in place. STAY TUNED!
Previous posts in this series:
- The Health Legal Documents You Need Before You Go to the Hospital
- Patient Advocate Form: What it is and why you need one
Have you ever had problems getting your family to allow to follow your wishes? If so, I’d love to hear from you!
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