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Another important component of a well-crafted estate plans what we call powers of attorney. A power of attorney is a document that makes it so that you can designate somebody else to step into your shoes and act on your behalf if you become incapacitated. You’re still alive but you can’t act for yourself.
Whether you’ve had a heart attack or stroke or a car crash. You’re somehow unable to take care of your own needs. The person that you designate under the power of attorney is called your agent. The job of the agent is to make sure that you’re being well taken care of. Powers of attorney typically come in two flavors, there’s a power of attorney for financial purposes and the power of attorney for health care.
On the financial side it makes it so that you’ve got somebody who can pay your bills take care of your taxes carry on the negation of that is what is necessary. On the power of attorney for healthcare side it makes it so that you’ve got somebody who can take care of you such as checking you in to a hospital, giving consent for an operation, finding you new doctor whatever else is necessary to make sure you’re getting the health care that you need.
Within the power of attorney for health care we always draft what’s called an advanced healthcare directive some states call it a living will. This is where you get to indicate what some of your choices are on major healthcare decisions just in case you can’t communicate them the time the choices necessary.
For a lot of our clients they’re looking for coverage on what they think of as the Terri Schiavo situation, a persistent vegetative state. We talk about whether or not you want to pull the plug in a situation like that, whether you want to be cremated, you want to have your ashes scattered somewhere, or you have religious restrictions on the kind of health care you need. We talked about all those kinds of things so that the time those choices are necessary your agent doesn’t have to guess.
The powers of attorney are a critical component in any well-crafted estate plan because remember, the goal is to make sure that we don’t just take care of your stuff after you’re gone but we also want to take care of you when the time comes and if you’re unable to take care of yourself.
El Dorado Hills5137 Golden Foothill Parkway, Ste. 110
El Dorado Hills, CA 95762
Sacramento8880 Cal Center Dr., Ste 400
Sacramento, CA 95826
About Morris Law Group
Attorney David R. Morris is a Certified Specialist in Estates, Trusts, and Probate, certified by the State Bar of California. Certified Specialists undergo rigorous peer review, testing, and education to certify that they are experts in their subject matter areas. Fewer than two percent of attorneys in California become Certified Specialists in any area of law—the designation serves as an indication that the attorney is skilled, experienced, and knowledgeable in the specialty area.
With offices in Sacramento and El Dorado Hills, Morris Law Group provides innovative, cost effective solutions for clients seeking to resolve and avoid problems related to their families and livelihoods. We serve individuals and business clients in the communities of El Dorado Hills, Sacramento, West Sacramento, South Sacramento, Midtown Sacramento, Natomas, Folsom, Granite Bay, Rancho Cordova, Citrus Heights, Carmichael, Roseville, Cameron Park, Shingle Springs and Placerville.