Powers Of Attorney
Many people associate estate planning with wills and trusts. However, to be fully effective, an estate plan must also accomplish the critical function of protecting yourself in the event of incapacity.
Why Prepare For Incapacity?
Legal incapacity — that is, the inability to manage your own affairs — can arise at any age. And any number of life’s storms can lead to incapacity, including the natural aging process, an unexpected diagnosis of a cognitive disorder such as Alzheimer’s disease, or a tragic and life-altering accident.
Nobody likes to dwell on these possibilities. Yet by implementing the correct legal tools to prepare well in advance, you can rest assured that you and your family will stand on solid ground should something unfortunate happen.
How To Prepare
The chief purpose of a durable power of attorney is to grant a trusted individual the legal authority to care for you in the event of your incapacity. The general power of attorney will allow that person to look after your financial affairs. The medical power of attorney for health care — also called an advance health care directive — will enable him or her to make important medical decisions on your behalf, and in accordance with your living will (a separate document that sets for your wishes regarding medical treatment and end-of-life choices).
Without these critical documents, your loved ones would have to pursue guardianship and conservatorship proceedings — which are extremely costly, lengthy and invasive — to obtain the legal authority to care for you.
Guidance Rooted In Experience
Experienced legal guidance is essential for creating a sturdy estate plan. Do-it-yourself forms are simply not adequate to address the complexities of your unique situation. With so much at stake, it is not worth risking a botched outcome because you neglected to consult with a lawyer.
At the law firm of Ryland & Merchak, PC, we can work with you to develop a comprehensive estate plan that fits your needs and accomplishes your wishes. With more than 35 years of experience, our estate planning attorney provides efficient, goal-oriented counsel.