What many people do not realize is that an estate administration does not always begin after a person dies. If the person becomes incapacitated, the estate may need to be overseen and administered. Consequently, as the person in charge of this process, you may find yourself needing to deal with a living will, durable power of attorney for finances, or durable power of attorney for healthcare. It is important to understand the differences between a power of attorney and living will.
An Overview of the Differences Between a Power of Attorney and Living Will
What are the differences between these important documents? The following is an overview:
- A living will applies to health care decisions relating to end-of-life care. For example, a living will is where a person outlines their desire to not have life sustaining measures administered if in a coma without a reasonable expectation of recovery. The living will doesn’t pertain to other health care decisions. It also does not appoint or authorize someone to act on their behalf.
- A durable power of attorney for health care gives someone authority to make health care decisions on someone else’s behalf. For example, a durable power of attorney for health care may appoint a husband to make his wife’s health care decisions. The husband can decide whether his wife, who is in a coma, should undergo surgery proposed by the physician.
- A durable power of attorney for finances gives another person the authority to make legal or financial decisions. For example, a durable power of attorney for finances may appoint an adult child to serve as the agent for the parent for making financial decisions. The child can access the parent’s bank accounts to pay bills, deposit funds, or take other important financial actions.
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AttorneyThe Grossman Law Firm, APC · 525 B Street, Suite 1500, San Diego, CA 92101 · (951) 523-8307