How to understand the power of attorney
Understanding power of attorney: As you grow older, you may wish to designate someone with durable power of attorney. This means naming someone who will have the power to make decisions on your behalf in the event that you lose the power to make those decisions yourself, especially if you need to be placed in a long-term care facility. It is called durable power of attorney to distinguish it from non-durable power of attorney, which ends when the principal is incapacitated.
The best time to designate durable power of attorney is while you are still of sound mind and capable of making decisions that will be respected. A trustworthy attorney can guide you through this process.
Financial power of attorney
If drawn correctly, financial powers of attorney can be used in order to protect an individual’s assets when they might be placed into a nursing home. Language must be inserted into these documents that allows gifting to take place in order to create an avenue by which assets can be protected. Many attorneys fail to include this language that will allow it to be used as a tool to protect assets. Failing to cover this in a financial power of attorney can often lead to a very poor result. Elder law attorneys have the experience and understanding to incorporate the necessary language into a financial power of attorney to achieve desired results. Therefore all financial powers of attorney are not created equal.
Health care and other directives
Understanding Health care power of attorney means that your agent has the power to make decisions for you about your health care. This is a type of advanced health care directive. There are other types of advanced health care directive, such as the living will and the advance instruction for mental health treatment, but each of these may need a health care agent to make sure that it is enforced.
A living will, also called a declaration of desire for a natural death, is defined by the state of North Carolina as a statement that you do not want your life prolonged by extraordinary measures if you are in a vegetative state, or if you have a terminal or incurable illness. An advance instruction for mental health treatment makes your wishes known regarding mental health treatment in the event that you need it in the future.
Charlotte NC Legal assistance
In order to draw up any form of durable power of attorney, you will need the help of an attorney who focuses in elder law and estate planning. Robert C. Whitt, Charlotte attorney, servicing the areas of Charlotte, Gastonia, Mount Holly and Gaston, Mecklenburg, Lincoln Counties and surrounding communities.He has been rated AV by the 147-year-old Martindale-Hubble law rating service — the highest honor an attorney can receive. If you live in this area and are considering designating durable power of attorney, contact his office today.