Two types of documents can greatly simplify end-of-life planning for families: living wills and powers of attorney. The law firm of Janet R. Feeley, L.L.C., can create both of these documents. Browsing the website, one can be reassured that one’s wishes will be carried out, and that one’s loved ones won’t be forced to make tough decisions that could create division within the family. Read further to learn more about powers of attorney and living wills.
Most people associate wills with the distribution of property after death, but a living will serves a different purpose. These documents let the family know what type of care a person wants in the event of incapacitation. They can be general or specific. If one opts for a general living will, they should also create powers of attorney. No one can account for every possibility, and a lawyer focused on wills and estates in Mesa, AZ, can help clients draft a living will that comes close.
Healthcare Power of Attorney
With a healthcare power of attorney, the creator can choose an agent to make choices not covered in the living will. The agent cannot override any of the living will’s provision; they can only supplement one’s wishes if an unforeseen situation arises. If a financial power of attorney has already been designated, the creator should consider potential conflicts between the health and financial agents.
When Do Living Wills and Healthcare Powers of Attorney Start?
These documents are invoked when a physician declares that the creator does not have the capacity to make his or her own healthcare decisions. Standards vary by jurisdiction, but a person typically lacks the capacity to make his or her own decisions if:
• they do not understand the type and consequences of decisions, or
• they cannot communicate decisions in any way.
Some jurisdictions allow people to designate healthcare agents. This is a good option for spouses and it allows for immediate decision-making without the person being declared incapacitated.
When a Power of Attorney or Living Will Ceases
Powers of attorney and living wills typically expire upon the creator’s death. However, some jurisdictions allow directives and agencies to remain in effect for limited reasons, such as remains disposal. Living wills only end if terminated by the creator or the court. Healthcare powers of attorney can be revoked by divorce or a court order. Consult an attorney who handles wills and estates in Mesa, AZ, for advice. Visit the website feeleyfamilylaw.com for more information.