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What Are Durable Powers of Attorney?

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When someone suffers a severe accident that results in a person being unable to make any medical or financial decisions regarding their care, family members may find themselves making tough decisions for their loved ones well-being. In these situations, having a person with power of attorney could help in managing the person's medical and financial needs by a trusted party.

A person with power of attorney could help families during extremely challenging times. However, what does it really mean to have a power of attorney and what powers does that person have?

A power of attorney is a document that legally gives someone power to act in your place. To prepare in advance for the possibility that you might become mentally incapacitated, you'll need durable powers of attorney for medical care and finances. This means that if you ever become incapacitated, the powers of attorney stay in effect. Ordinary powers of attorney end when the person loses the mental capacity to make legal decision for his or herself. The trusted person you name on this document will be able to take care of important matters such as paying your bills, making decisions about your medical care, and other matters you would be unable to handle on your own.

Medical powers of attorney, also known as durable power of attorney for health care, give the trusted individual the power to make your medical decisions should you be to ill to do so yourself. Your power of attorney will not mean that you are alone in the decision-making process. Your healthcare agent will work with your doctors to ensure you are getting the care your need. Further, your power of attorney is legally bound to make decisions that are in your best interest.

Financial powers of attorney give your trusted individual to make financial decisions for you. Durable power of attorney for finances give you the ability to give as much authority to your trusted individual over your finances as you want. This means your trusted individual can look over your retirement accounts, deposit your social security checks, or even use your assets to pay a third party to assist them in handling your finances.

If you're unsure about how to handle your estate or whether dictating a power of attorney is the right decision for you, contact an experienced estate attorney. Our lawyers at the San Jose and Danville law firm of Temmerman, Cilley & Kohlmann, LLP will make sure to keep your best interest in mind when making tough decisions regarding your medical and financial needs. Schedule a consultation with us today.

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