What happens if you become mentally incapable of making healthcare decisions for yourself in the future? A durable power of attorney is a great way to handle this situation. This allows you to choose an agent in order to keep your end-of-life wishes in check. This can be a family member or friend.
If you or a loved one need assistance creating a durable power of attorney, you need the estate planning professionals of Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC. It’s what we do.
What is a Durable Power of Attorney?
The durable power of attorney is a legal tool that allows an individual of your choice to have the power to make medical decisions for you should you become incapacitated. This designated person has the legal authority to make sure that the wishes in your living will are carried out.
Often, the chosen individual is a close relative you trust to communicate with medical staff should you become incapacitated. You may also know this as a durable power of attorney for health care.
This differs from the financial power of attorney, who can make financial decisions should you become unable to do so yourself. This includes having access to bank accounts, investments, and handling debts.
However, all powers of attorney are best used in conjunction with a living will, which establishes your end-of-life wishes. In addition, you’ll still need to draft a will to document who should be a beneficiary upon your passing.
Our Tennessee estate planning attorneys will guide you through the entire process to ensure you have all documents and information prepared before you need to utilize them.
Power of Attorney In Use
Complete trust is key when choosing someone to have control over your end-of-life wishes. In Tennessee, your chosen representative will have the option to permit or deny any procedure, treatment, assessment, for a disease, illness, or injury. This includes surgery, drugs, transfusions, mechanical ventilation, dialysis, CPR, artificial nourishment, hydration, etc.
When Does a Power of Attorney Take Effect?
As soon as you sign the document, a power of attorney takes effect. However, under your direction, it will take effect when you become incapacitated. You do have the option to choose the person you assigned, if necessary. However, if the agent needs to be changed after you are unable to change anything, the courts will decide for you.
To revoke a power of attorney, you must:
1. Notify the attorney-in-fact verbally or in writing;
2. Notify the health caregiver verbally or in writing;
3. Execute the subsequent power of attorney;
4. Divorce must take place if the former spouse was the designated power of attorney; or
5. Your current wishes (which are capable) supersede durable power of attorney.
If you plan to revoke your current durable power of attorney, it is best to meet with an estate planning attorney. An attorney can ensure you’ve revoked your power of attorney effectively to avoid issues in the future.
Contact MHPS Law to Start on a Durable Power of Attorney
Establishing a durable power of attorney is an important task that you want to handle correctly. The Nashville power of attorney lawyers at Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC can guide you through completing this process easily and swiftly. We can help you choose an agent who will have your best interests at heart and make the best medical decisions possible when you cannot.
Let us help you through this important process. Contact our Tennessee estate planning attorneys today to get started.