Powers of Attorney
Power of attorney documents are some of the most vital parts of an estate plan. They are often used in planning for incompetence, and with proper drafting, can avoid the need for court involvement if an individual loses the capacity to make decisions for themselves. We welcome you to read more, below. To speak with us about your needs for powers of attorney, we invite you to call today for a free initial telephone consultation.
Mobile Legal Services offers estate planning services throughout Southeast Michigan. Our estate planning attorneys meet clients in their homes, nursing homes, or other convenient locations — for no additional cost — in the Downriver Detroit area and all of Monroe County, Washtenaw County, Southern Macomb County, Oakland County, and Wayne County.
Durable Power of Attorney
A durable power of attorney is intended to help the client, or 'Principal', with their day-to-day living upon incapacity. These responsibilities can include:
- paying bills
- making deposits
- managing investments
- selling or mortgaging real estate
- establishing residency
- entering into contracts
- hiring and firing professionals
- representing the Principal in legal proceedings
- applying for government benefits
- preparing and filing taxes
- making gifts ... and the list goes on
The individual nominated by the Principal is known as that person’s 'Agent.'
The document can grant as much power to the Agent as the Principal wishes, or it can be narrowly drafted for specific purposes. The document can also be drafted to become effective upon execution of the document, or it may only be effective upon the disability of the Principal, which is known as a ‘Springing’ durable power of attorney.
Medical Power of Attorney or ‘Patient Advocate’
An individual appointed as the client's medical power of attorney, also known as a ‘patient advocate,’ will make medical decisions for them if there ever comes a time when they are unable to make those decisions on their own. A person can only make medical decisions for the person needing care if they are unconscious or incompetent to the point of not understanding their treatment options. The law views an individual’s right to make their own medical treatment decisions with the utmost importance and will only take that right away if absolutely necessary.
A patient advocate form can also contain language relating to end of life decisions, sometimes referred to as a ‘living will.’ The benefit of having this document is that it allows the individual’s end of life decisions to be carried out as they choose. It also provides guidance for the patient advocate so they understand the individual’s beliefs and desires, including whether they wish to make a gift of their organs, and at what point they would want to be allowed to die naturally.
As you can imagine, a Patient Advocate having to make these types of decisions for a loved-one can be extremely difficult. However, knowing that the individual made their end of life decisions while they were of sound mind can make the decision process easier for the Patient Advocate.
To learn more or get help creating powers of attorney, call us today.