Incapacity can come as a result of old age, but also can result at any time during your lifetime if an unexpected medical condition or injury occurs. Fortunately, there are several different legal documents that you can incorporate into your estate plan that can help protect you and carry out your wishes in the event that you become incapacitated.
First, a durable power of attorney authorizes another individual to carry out your financial matters, including paying your bills, entering into contracts, and accessing your bank accounts. Essentially, the person whom you designate in a durable power of attorney can do anything with respect to your finances that you can do yourself. This power extends beyond the point at which you become incapacitated.
You also can execute a patient advocate designation, healthcare proxy, or durable power of attorney for health care, to make medical treatment decisions if you are unable to do so. Your agent, or the person whom you designate in your health care power of attorney, can make sure that doctors and other health care professionals follow your wishes and decide how to handle certain medical decisions as they arise.
Likewise, a living will relates to medical decision-making when you are no longer competent or otherwise able to make those decisions. A living will goes into operation when you are permanently unconscious, terminally ill, or otherwise unable to communicate your wishes on a particular medical treatment. For instance, you can make decisions about the circumstances under which you want to receive artificial nutrition and hydration, or other types of life-sustaining treatment.
Future incapacity is an important issue that is likely to impact you, your parents or other family members at some point. At Legacy Law Center, our goal is to ensure that you have an effective estate plan in place to allow others whom you designate to make decisions on your behalf, should you unexpectedly become incapacitated. We have the skills and knowledge that you need to create the estate plan that best meets the needs of you and your family. Call your Michigan long-term care attorneys at (734) 995-2383 and schedule an immediate appointment.
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