Power of Attorney and Other Estate Planning Information
A complete estate plan drafted and prepared by an experienced estate planning attorney will include other important documents beyond that of just a will or a trust. These other documents include a power of attorney, an advance medial directive, and a HIPAA authorization. Your estate plan should be reviewed by an attorney every few years to ensure it is still working properly and all the required documents are in order. Major life events, such as marriage, divorce, the birth of a child, the death of a spouse or child, or the purchase of a new home should make meeting with an estate planning attorney a high priority. We offer FREE consultations and review of any current estate planning document. Call 503-990-6641 or fill out the contact form to schedule an appointment today with an estate planning attorney in Salem, Oregon.
What is a Power of Attorney?
A power of attorney is a legal document that gives another person (an “agent” or “attorney-in-fact”), the authority to make certain decision regarding your financial affairs on your behalf. The authority granted to the agent by a power of attorney is generally quite broad. However, a power of attorney can be drafted to limit the agent’s authority to very specific tasks. Perhaps the most useful benefit of a power of attorney is its durability. A durable power of attorney allows your agent to act on your behalf even if you become financially incapable in the future. Because a durable power of attorney allows your agent to make financial decision on your behalf even after you are incapable of doing so, it can be an effective means of avoiding having a conservator appointed over you by the court.
What is an Advance Medical Directive?
An advance medical directive is a legal form in which a health care representative can be appointed and in which you can state your wishes regarding the end of life treatment you would or would not like to receive. These end of life decisions, such as whether you would like tube feeding or life support, can be very difficult decisions for your children or loved ones to make. By stating your wishes in an advance medical directive you can ease the burden placed on your loved ones during these difficult times.
What is HIPAA?
The Heath Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), is a federal law that protects the privacy of patient’s healthcare information. Protected healthcare information is defined very broadly, which makes it very difficult to get healthcare information on a person, even close family members such as spouses or children, without authorization. Your healthcare representative should be given HIPAA authorization so they have access to your health information and can effectively communicate with your doctors if you ever become incapacitated.