Durable Financial Power of Attorney and Durable Medical Power of Attorney
A Power of Attorney is a document in which you designate an agent, also called an attorney-in-fact, to act on your behalf. You can give your appointed agent broad or limited powers. A “durable” power of attorney, unlike a traditional power of attorney, continues even if you become disabled, and is an indispensable feature of disability planning. These are simple yet essential documents. In any given year, a person is far more likely to become disabled or incapacitated than to die. Yet disability planning is often overlooked.
A Durable Financial Power of Attorney
A Durable Financial Power of Attorney authorizes an agent to make financial decisions, even in the event that you lack mental capacity.
Durable Health Care Power of Attorney
A Durable Health Care Power of Attorney, also known as a Durable Medical Power of Attorney, authorizes your agent to make medical decisions on your behalf. A Durable Health Care Power of Attorney can encompass a Living Will/Advance Medical Directive and serve as both. This can be invaluable at avoiding family conflicts should you be unable to speak for yourself.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) prohibits your health care providers from releasing your health care information unless you have provided them with a HIPAA release form. It is often prudent to prepare a standalone HIPAA release for your agents, although a proper Health Care Power of Attorney can also include a HIPAA release.