There’s a lot to consider when planning your estate. You’ll have to decide who inherits from you and who’s assigned as the executor of your estate. Wills aren’t just about asset distribution, however.
You may also include one or more powers of attorney. The person holding your power of attorney may act on your behalf while your heart’s still beating but when you’re unable to speak for yourself. Ideally, you should designate someone for two different powers of attorney. Here’s what you should know:
Medical and financial powers of attorney address different things
You may choose one or more people to handle these important jobs. Before you make your selection, it helps to know what each power of attorney does:
- A medical power of attorney: This person will act on your medical decisions for you if you are incapacitated in some way. A medical power of attorney is a role that is only active if you are unable to make decisions on medical treatment.
- A financial power of attorney: Much like a medical power of attorney, they act on your financial duties if you’re unable to make decisions for yourself. A financial power of attorney can be considered “limited” if the role is temporary (for example, while someone is away for military service).
A person who is designated as both a medical and financial power of attorney may be considered a general power of attorney. This may be a common choice for people who believe a single person is most capable of maintaining their finances and health while they’re incapacitated.
If you’re planning your estate, you may need to know all your options. A legal team may be available to help you ensure your will includes everything it needs.