Power of Attorney

POWER OF ATTORNEY

For many people, a Durable Power of Attorney (POA) is the most important estate-planning instrument available. A POA allows the person you appoint, your “attorney-in-fact” to act in your stead for financial purposes as soon as it is executed. It is particularly useful, when, and if, you become incapacitated.

HEALTH CARE PROXY/LIVING WILL

Any complete estate-planning document should include a medical directive. A Health Care Proxy allows you to designate another individual to make health care decisions for you if you are unable to do so yourself.

In Colorado, no one is automatically authorized to make healthcare decisions for another adult–not spouses, adult children, other family members, nor physicians.

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The Medical Durable Power of Attorney is a document you sign to appoint someone to make your healthcare decisions for you. The person you name is called your healthcare agent.

In most cases, your agent only makes decisions for you when you cannot. This may be temporary, while you recover from an accident or injury, or long term, if you are permanently incapacitated. Your agent is supposed to act according to your wishes and values.

LIVING WILL

A Living Will is a document, which expresses your medical instructions. A more extensive medical directive may include the terms of a Living Will, but also provide instructions if you are in a less severe state of health but are still unable to direct your health care decisions yourself.

A Medical Durable Power of Attorney is not the same as a general Power of Attorney (POA). The Medical POA agent is only authorized to make healthcare decisions. A general POA covers legal and financial affairs. The authority of both types of agent ends at your death.

If you have already designated a power of attorney for financial decisions, keep in mind that conflict can arise between your financial and health agents. It’s best to choose individuals that you know can work together and who have your best interests at heart.

We are here to offer assistance in setting you up with the correct document that protects your assets and your health in case of a need. Call our office and let us make this process EASY for you and your family at an affordable rate.