Powers of Attorney
Who will speak for you? A comprehensive estate plan should include a power of attorney for health care and for finances. A power of attorney gives someone else the authority to act on your behalf. Baim Reagler and Naramore, Hot Springs and Hot Springs Village power of attorney lawyers, can help you decide what kind of power of attorney is best for you.
Financial Power of Attorney
A financial power of attorney allows you to select a trusted person who will be responsible for managing your money and other property if you need assistance. A power of attorney insures that if you get sick, your financial and legal needs can be met without interruption.
A financial power of attorney grants legal rights from the “principal” to an “attorney-in-fact,” often referred to as your agent. The agent stands in the shoes of the principal. A power of attorney does not take any rights away from the principal. The agent can do most things the principal can do, except as limited by the law or in the document. Unless the power of attorney is “springing,” it takes effect as soon as it is signed by the principal. A “springing” power of attorney takes effect when the incapacity of the principal is certified by one or more physicians.
If you get sick and are unable to make or communicate your financial decisions, and you do not have a financial power of attorney, a court can appoint someone to take control of your assets and make all financial decisions for you through a guardianship.
If it has been more than a year or two since you’ve signed your power of attorney, it might be time for a fresh one. Call us! We can help make sure you and your family are fully protected by helping you determine:
- Who would be the best choice for this responsibility,
- How much authority you should give your financial agent, and
- When to make your power of attorney become effective.
Regardless of your priorities, there is a financial power of attorney right for your situation and goals. Determine your specific needs while you are of sound mind. Of course, nothing tops the advice and recommendations of an attorney experienced in these matters. So if you are wavering between your options, give us a call.
Healthcare Power of Attorney
A healthcare power of attorney appoints a healthcare agent to make decisions about your medical care if you are too ill to make them yourself or are otherwise unable to communicate your wishes. Like its financial counterpart, it can prevent the necessity of a court-appointed guardian to make medical decisions in the event of incapacity. A healthcare agent has the power to make critical decisions such as consenting to a treatment plan, whether to accept or refuse medical treatment, and which healthcare providers or hospitals to use for your care.
Factors to consider when choosing a healthcare agent include emotional maturity, location, willingness to serve, ability to honor your wishes, and age. Your wishes are only as strong as the person you choose to carry them out. Picking a healthcare agent can be tricky and we can help you think through your choice.
A healthcare power of attorney should be accompanied by a HIPAA Release and living will, if you want one. A HIPAA release allows your medical providers to share your medical information with your chosen recipients. A living will legal document reflecting your wishes as to the use of life support and end of life care. A living will is also often referred to as an advance directive. A living will is different than a do not resuscitate order, which is a medical document that only a physician can sign. A living will gives your loved ones assurance that they are following your wishes if hard decisions must be made.
307 Carpenter Dam Road
Hot Springs, AR 71901
100 Plaza Carmona Place
Hot Springs Village, AR 71909