As you get older, it's important to plan ahead for a time when you might be unable to make decisions on your own. When you set up a health care proxy, a fiduciary, and a durable power of attorney, you will be prepared if you need to have another person take care of your health or finances. While it may be difficult to decide who to choose for these important roles, this is an important step you need to take to protect your assets and make your wishes for your medical care known.
A Health Care Proxy Makes Medical Decisions
When you set up a health care proxy, this person is able to make medical decisions for you if you are not able to make them on your own. It is helpful to sit down with the person you choose as your health care proxy, and tell them what your wishes are should you become incapacitated. Many people who serve in the capacity of health care proxy find that when it comes to making a decision, they aren't sure what the person wanted. When you are clear about your wishes, and what to do if life threatening decisions need to be made, you make the job of your health care proxy easier.
Setting Up a Fiduciary
If you want to have a person handle your finances if you aren't able to take care of your money anymore, you can set up a person to be your fiduciary. This person would be allowed to pay bills, and handle your money as if they were you. In some instances, your fiduciary would have to provide an accounting to the probate court, showing where your money was spent and what your current assets are.
Creating a Durable Power of Attorney
If you have one person that you trust to handle all of your medical decisions and financial affairs, you would name this person your durable power of attorney. If you are no longer able to make decisions, the person you give a durable power attorney to will act as if they are you in all instances. They can pay your bills, access your funds, and make medical decisions. They can sell property if the funds are needed in order to take care of you. A durable power of attorney ends either when you die, or when you are able to begin making decisions again on your own. Contact an attorney, such as J. Scott Braden, for more information.