A comprehensive estate plan provides a roadmap for your loved ones. While most people think about things that happen after their death, the estate plan also encompasses specific points about what will happen if you become incapacitated.
One of the most important things you can do to prepare for the unthinkable is establishing powers of attorney. There are two specific areas of your life that you need to cover.
1. Financial power of attorney
The financial power of attorney enables someone to make decisions about money, investments and assets. They can do everything that you’d normally do, including paying your bills. Some other duties they may handle are buying or selling assets and making decisions regarding your investments.
2. Medical power of attorney
The medical power of attorney gives someone the power to discuss your health care and make decisions about it. This individual works closely with your medical team. They’ll have to follow the terms of the advanced directives, which is another important part of your estate plan.
It’s possible to give the same person both designations, but you can also have a different person for each designation. Ideally, the people you choose will live close enough to you to be able to handle these duties in a pinch. Discussing your wishes ahead of time with them could help them to know what to do if the time comes.
Remember, this is only one component of the estate plan, so ensure you have everything else handled to provide you with the best peace of mind. Working with someone who understands your wishes may help to reduce your stress.