Make Your Own Medical & Financial Powers of Attorney
Make Your Own Medical & Financial Powers of Attorney provides you with step-by-step instructions, detailed information and all the forms necessary to ensure that your legal, financial and medical affairs can be managed during any period in which you are unable to do so yourself.
This book will take you step-by-step through the process of creating your own powers of attorney and appointing agents to manage your affairs. Amongst other documents, it allows you to create a general, durable general, limited, and durable limited powers of attorney, as well as a durable power of attorney for healthcare & living will. Each of these powers of attorney are described briefly in the “Description” tab further below.
- Appoint someone you trust to manage your financial and/or medical affairs.
- Specify your preferences for end of life medical treatment.
- Protect against incapacity.
- Protect and safeguard assets.
- Avoid family disputes
- Have peace of mind.
This book provides you with detailed information and instructions, along with all the forms necessary to ensure that your legal, financial and medical affairs can be managed during any periods in which you are unable or unwilling to do so yourself.
Benefits of a Power of Attorney
- Appoint someone you trust to manage your financial affairs if you are unable to.
- Have someone you trust make medical decisions on your behalf, in accordance with your instructions, if you are unable to.
- Ensure that your family is not left helpless to manage your assets during any period in which you are incapacitated.
- Avoid a depletion in the value of your assets by ensuring someone is legally empowered to manage those assets during any period in which you are incapacitated.
What is a Power of Attorney?
A power of attorney is a legal document by which you can appoint another person (usually a trusted friend, family member, colleague or adviser) to make medical, financial, legal and other business decisions on your behalf.
Types of Power of Attorney
Under your power of attorney, you can give your agent either general authority or limited authority. Where you give your agent general authority, he or she will be authorized to act as your authorized legal representative in relation to the whole cross-section of your legal and financial affairs until such time as that authorization is terminated. In other words, your agent will have full legal authority to make decisions and take actions on your behalf, as if you were taking them yourself. This could, for example, include signing letters and checks, executing contracts, and much more.
With limited authority, your agent is given authority in relation to the specific matters you specify in your power of attorney document. These matters may relate to real estate, bonds, shares and commodity trading, operating a business, instituting of defending litigation, banking, insurance and virtually any other matter. Your agent will not be entitled to represent you in any matter not expressly set out in your power of attorney.
Both limited and general powers of attorney can also be classified as either ‘ordinary’ or ‘durable’. Ordinary powers of attorney can be useful where you wish to simply authorize an agent to tend to some financial or commercial arrangements when you are unable to do so yourself. This may include opening or closing back accounts, buying or selling real estate or simply completing a contract. These types of powers of attorney will always come to an automatic end if you become mentally incapacitated or die.
Durable powers of attorney, on the other hand, do not come to an end when you become incapacitated (and in many cases only commence when you become incapacitated) and for this reason they should form an integral part of your estate plan. This is because they allow you to appoint someone you trust (usually a family member or close friend) to manage your legal and financial affairs during any period in which you are incapacitated; thereby allowing them to deal with your assets and avoid a depletion in the value of those assets. This could be important if your assets ever needed to be sold to pay for medical bills, to keep up mortgage repayments, etc. It could be equally important to sell assets quickly if there was a collapse in share or real estate prices, for example.
It is also possible to make a healthcare power of attorney (sometimes called a medical power of attorney) under which you can appoint someone you trust to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unconscious or otherwise unable to make these decisions yourself. In the absence of choosing somebody yourself, state law will specify a particular family member who will have the responsibility for making medical decisions for you. Of course, this may not be someone you would have approved of given the choice.
Healthcare powers of attorney not only ensure that you have someone you know and trust making these decisions for you but also allow you direct what treatments and procedures you are willing or unwilling to accept. Your agent will be charged with ensuring that your wishes are carried out in such circumstances.
What Happens Without a Power of Attorney?
If you fail to make a valid durable power of attorney for finance and property your family (even your spouse) may be legally helpless to manage your property and your assets. Similarly, by failing to make a healthcare power of attorney, you could end up receiving medical treatment that you would not have wished to receive.
The only way to protect yourself from these dangers is to have a power of attorney which authorizes someone you trust to make these important decisions for you and which expressly sets out your wishes and requirements in relation to the making of legal, financial and healthcare decisions on your behalf.
“Make Your Own Medical & Financial Powers of Attorney”
Our estate planning lawyers have created a simple plain English book to help make your very own power of attorney for any occasion. It’s called “Make Your Own Medical & Financial Powers of Attorney”. It will guide you step-by-step through the process of understanding what to include in a power of attorney and, of course, making a power of attorney.
For more details on the contents of this book, see the tap “Table of Contents” tab opposite.
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Table of Contents
Chapter 1 – Powers of Attorney
What is a Power of Attorney?
Who are the Parties Involved?
Why Use a Power of Attorney?
What are the Types of Powers of Attorney?
How Do I Create a Power of Attorney?
Is it Dangerous to Use a Power of Attorney Form?
What is the Scope of a Power of Attorney?
What is the Duration of a Power of Attorney?
What are the Duties and Responsibilities of the Agent?
Does the Agent Have Liability to the Principal?
Can I Protect Myself from Bad Decisions by My Agent?
What Factors Should I Consider in Choosing an Agent?
Chapter 2 – Types of Powers of Attorney
Financial and Healthcare Powers of Attorney
General and Limited Powers of Attorney
Ordinary and Durable Powers of Attorney
Springing Power of Attorney
Mutual Powers of Attorney
Cascading Powers of Attorney
Chapter 3 – Who Needs a Power of Attorney?
What Happens Without a Power of Attorney?
What If You Don’t Think You Need a Power of Attorney?
Chapter 4 – Creating a Power of Attorney
Who Can Make a Power of Attorney?
Creating a Power of Attorney
Signing and Witnessing
Selecting Witnesses to a Power of Attorney
Filing or Recording a Power of Attorney
Preventing Challenges to a Durable Power of Attorney
Chapter 5 – Commencement and Cessation of Powers of Attorney
Commencement of a Power of Attorney
Duration of a Power of Attorney
Revocation of a Power of Attorney
Reasons to Revoke a Power of Attorney
When Can a Power of Attorney Be Revoked?
Determining ‘Incapacity’ for Purposes of a Power of Attorney
Challenging a Determination of ‘Incapacity’
Difference between ‘Incapacitated’ for a Power of Attorney and ‘Incompetent’ for a Guardianship/Conservatorship
Chapter 6 – The Principal and the Agent
Who are the ‘Principal’ and the ‘Agent’?
The Legal Relationship between the Principal and Agent
Dealing with Third Parties
Choosing and Appointing an Agent
Factors to Consider in Choosing an Agent
What If I Don’t Trust Anyone I Know to Be My Agent?
Required Qualifications of an Agent
Appointing a Relative as an Agent
Agents as Beneficiaries under a Will
Appointing ‘Joint’ or ‘Joint and Independent’ Agents
Agent Fees and Compensation
The Powers of an Agent Duties and Responsibilities of an Agent
Liability of Agents
Oversight of an Agent
Protecting Against Bad Decisions by an Agent
Chapter 7 – Alternatives to Using a Power of Attorney
Standard Agency Relationships
Conservatorships and Guardianships
Chapter 8 – Preparing Your Own Powers of Attorney
Assess Your Individual Circumstances
Determine Whether You Need a Power of Attorney
Select the Types of Powers of Attorney that are Best for You
Choose an Agent
Create Your Power of Attorney Document
Sign and Deliver Your Powers of Attorney
Provide Relevant Information to Your Agents
Periodically Review Your Power of Attorney Documents and Terms
Appendix 1 – Signing Instructions
Instructions for Completion of the General Power of Attorney Document
Instructions for Completion of the Durable General Power of Attorney Document
Instructions for Completion of the Limited Power of Attorney Document
Instructions for Completion of the Durable Limited Power of Attorney Document
Instructions for Completion of the Agent’s Acceptance of Appointment Document
Instructions for Completion of the Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare & Living Will Document
Instructions for Completion of the Notice of Revocation of a Power of Attorney Document
Appendix 2 – Sample Powers of Attorney
Sample Powers of Attorney for General Power of Attorney
Sample Powers of Attorney for Durable General Power of Attorney
Sample Powers of Attorney for Limited Power of Attorney
Sample Powers of Attorney for Durable Limited Power of Attorney
Appendix 3 – Agents Acceptance of Appointment Notice of Appointment
Agents Acceptance of Appointment Notice of Appointment
Appendix 4 – Sample Powers of Attorney for Healthcare
Sample Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare and Living Will
Appendix 5 – Notice of Revocation of a Power of Attorney
Notice of Revocation of a Power of Attorney
The following forms are included with this book:-
- General power of attorney for finance and property
- Durable general power of attorney for finance and property
- Limited power of attorney for finance and property
- Durable limited power of attorney for finance and property
- Durable power of attorney for healthcare & living will
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