One of the most important terms in estate law is durable power of attorney. But it is also a misunderstood term by a lot of people who need to know what one is and why one should have one. In short, a durable power of attorney lets someone choose who makes the decisions when that person cannot.
- What’s the difference between power of attorney and executor?
An executor has an office for a person’s estate after that person has passed on. But a person with the durable power of attorney may have responsibilities when the person who appointed them is still alive. For example, that person may choose to continue life-prolonging care if a person cannot approve it for himself or herself.
- How is a power of attorney conferred?
The requirements are much the same as writing a valid will. A person must be an adult with full control of his or her faculties, and the agreement must be filed as part of or before a line of medical treatment to which it could be applied.
- Can a person change their mind on who has this power?
Yes, as long as that person still has the ability to make or change the decision. These agreements must be recorded on paper before physicians can honor them.
- Who can help with a power of attorney choice?
An attorney can always help with matters connected to wills, end-of-life decisions and estates. Legal representation may add a lot of emotional security to the process of planning for the end of life for people and their families alike.