Will you need a medical or financial power of attorney?

On Behalf of | Apr 20, 2021 | Estate Planning

It’s hard to deny that life is sometimes unpredictable. Considering that, you might be wondering about what happens to your assets when you pass away or are otherwise incapacitated. To help ensure the ones you leave behind get taken care of, you might need either a medical or financial power of attorney; some people in California have both. Here’s how to determine whether you need a financial or medical power of attorney.

What’s a financial power of attorney?

With a financial power of attorney, you’ll have someone on your side to oversee your finances. After designating a financial POA, this person can pay your bills and handle other financial-related matters. This designated person can also step in for one-off situations, such as when you’re out of town.

How to choose a financial POA

When choosing a financial POA, it’s imperative to select someone who knows how to handle your finances. Essentially, this should be someone you deem financially responsible. Considering the importance of your finances, you also want someone trustworthy as your financial POA.

What’s a medical power of attorney?

Another matter to consider when you’re estate planning is whether you’ll need a medical power of attorney. Someone in this role is responsible for making healthcare-related decisions for you. They must also follow your exact specifications, including medical treatments, personal care management, and hiring an assistant to provide personal care.

How to choose a medical POA

It’s important to note that certain states exclude who you can choose as a medical POA, such as physicians and healthcare providers. You’ll want to ensure the person you select as a medical POA is of sound mind and capable of carrying out your medical wishes. This person will be in charge of making extremely difficult choices you deem appropriate, including potentially ending your life by ceasing medical care.

Having a power of attorney is beneficial when you’re incapable of making your own decisions. When it’s time to designate a medical or financial POA, make sure this isn’t a decision you take lightly.