Durable power of attorney for health care Durable power of attorney for finance As you become the caregiver of an older adult, planning for the future will take on new meaning. Being proactive can save you a lot of pain, suffering, and probably money. While your loved one still has the ability to make wise decisions, you should have four important documents ready. Having these documents in place will give you peace of mind knowing that you are respecting the wishes of your loved one.
This advance directive communicates a person's wishes for end-of-life care; that is, when a person cannot make decisions on their own, a living will provides instructions on the type of medical treatment they want or don't want to receive from health care providers. For example, do you want to become one of the 1.4 million Americans who are kept alive thanks to a feeding tube or one of the 30,000 people who “live in a coma”? If you don't, you'll specify this decision in your living will. This is also known as a health care representative. A medical power of attorney allows a person to appoint someone (called a proxy or agent) to make real-time decisions on their behalf when they can't make decisions on their own; whereas a living will is based on hypothetical situations and may not adequately address all medical situations.
The designated proxy has the same rights as the patient to make decisions about health care. This proxy assumes responsibility once the health professional considers that the patient is incapable. Some states, such as California, require documents that combine a living will and a medical power of attorney. In California, for example, an advanced health care directive is used when part 1 addresses the power of attorney and part 2 addresses the person's wishes.
Like the medical power of attorney, this document allows you to appoint a trustee to manage your finances if you can't do it yourself. If you don't have a financial power of attorney when necessary, your family will likely have to take the matter to court, where they will have to apply to a court to authorize your financial matters. A financial power of attorney can be drafted to take effect immediately once signed. This is common between spouses. Otherwise, a doctor must certify that you have become unable to manage financial matters for it to take effect.
This power ends when the grantor cancels it, when the grantor dies, or if a court determines that there was maladministration. Upon death, authority lies with the executor identified in the person's will. A will is a document that describes the last wishes of a deceased person. Often, a will names one or more people as executors responsible for ensuring that all wishes are fulfilled.
Wishes can include everything from pet care and debt repayment to asset distribution. Don't stop being prepared for the challenges you'll face when caring for someone living with Alzheimer's dementia. When you're getting your affairs in order, it's important to prepare and organize important records and files in one place. In general, you'll want to include personal, financial, and health information.
Remember that this is a starting point. You may have more information to add. For example, if you have a pet, you'll want to include the name and address of your veterinarian.