What happens if you become mentally incapable of making decisions for yourself in regards to healthcare decisions? A durable power of attorney is a great way to handle this situation by choosing an agent, whether it be a family member or friend, to keep your end-of-life wishes in check.
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 if you become incapacitated. This designated person has the legal authority to see that wishes you have set forth in your living will are carried out.
Often, the chosen individual will be a close relative whom you trust to communicate with medical staff should you become incapacitated. This is sometimes known 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, including having access to bank accounts, investments, and handling debts.
However, all of the powers of attorney are best used in conjunction with a living will which establishes what exactly your end of life wishes are. 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.
Durable Power of Attorney In Use
Complete trust is key when choosing someone to have oversight and decision making 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 It Take Effect?
As soon as the document is signed by the person submitting it, this power of attorney takes effect. However, under your direction, it will take effect when you become incapacitated. The person you assign it to can be changed at any time, but note, if the agent needs to be changed after you are unable to do so, 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 durable power of attorney;
4. Divorce must take place if the former spouse was the designated power of attorney; or
5. Your current wishes (which capable) supersede durable power of attorney.
However, if you plan to revoke your current durable power of attorney, it is best to meet with an estate planning attorney who can ensure you’ve done so effectively to avoid issues in the future.
Contact MHPS Law to Get Started on a Durable Power of Attorney
The power of attorney lawyers at Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC, with offices in Springfield, TN, and Nashville, TN, can guide you through completing this process easily and swiftly. We can help you choose an agent that will have your best interests at heart to make the best medical decisions possible when you are not able to do so. Contact us today to get started and let us help you through this important financial process.