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Top 3 Reasons Why You Need a Financial Power of Attorney and Appointed Healthcare Representative

January 15, 2021 by in Blog

Some people may think that they only need to do estate planning to determine how their estate should be handled after passing away. However, planning for managing your financial affairs (and healthcare matters) during your lifetime is equally as important. Additionally, others may think that they only need to do estate planning when they are “old.”  However, this is not true. What if you are a young professional in your 30’s but are in a serious car accident that places you in a coma for six months? What if you had a seizure at age 45, which subsequently made it impossible for you to take care of yourself? Who would be the person to pay your bills and make decisions regarding your healthcare in these situations? Preparing Healthcare Advance Directives and Power of Attorney documents before situations like these happen is important.  

A financial Power of Attorney (or POA) is a formal legal document authorizing an individual known as an “attorney in fact” to take certain financial actions (such as paying your bills) on your behalf.  A healthcare representative can be appointed to make healthcare decisions on your behalf by creating a Designation of Healthcare Surrogate (DHS).  This person can also access your medical records. 

A Melbourne estate planning lawyer at Lacey Lyons Rezanka can help you prepare these documents.  Below are three important reasons for appointing a representative to make financial and healthcare decisions on your behalf. 

You Can Choose Someone You Trust

Without appointing in advance a representative (or representatives) who will make healthcare and/or financial decisions on your behalf, someone you don’t trust or want to make these decisions may be called upon to speak on your behalf if you cannot in the event of an emergency. If you plan and work with a Melbourne estate planning lawyer to prepare a financial Power of Attorney and Designation of Healthcare Surrogate, you can have peace of mind knowing that if something does happen to you, someone you trust is making important decisions regarding your finances and healthcare. 

You Can Give Direction to Healthcare Providers in Advance

When you create in advance a written Designation of Healthcare Surrogate and other healthcare advance directives (i.e., Living Will, DNR, HIPAA Release), you can often give copies of these documents to your healthcare providers so they have them on file for quick reference in the event of an emergency. This will allow healthcare providers to know who to call on your behalf if you have a healthcare emergency that leaves you incapacitated and unable to make decisions on your behalf. 

Creating a POA and DHS in Advance Makes it Easier for Your Representatives to Help You 

When you create a written POA and DHS and offer copies of these documents to your healthcare and financial representative(s), you make helping you a lot easier for your representative(s). Your representative will often need to prove their authority to act on your behalf when making financial and healthcare decisions. For example, if you wanted your best friend to pay your bills and take care of banking transactions if something were to happen to you where you could not make decisions on your behalf, it would be easier for your friend to make those payments and work with your bank if they have a written copy of your financial POA on hand. Likewise, if you wanted your brother to make healthcare decisions on your behalf, it would be easier for him to make these decisions in the event of an emergency if he had a copy of your executed DHS readily available to provide to healthcare workers. 

Contact a Melbourne Estate Planning Lawyer at Lacey Lyons Rezanka Today

A financial power of attorney and healthcare representative are important to have in place during your lifetime. An experienced Melbourne estate planning lawyer at Lacey Lyons Rezanka can answer your questions about these important documents. Contact our Melbourne estate planning lawyer today for assistance with preparing the documents necessary to appoint a financial power of attorney and healthcare representative.

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