Your estate plan should include instructions about what you want to happen to your assets when you pass away. There’s another aspect of this planning that has to do with what happens if you become incapacitated.
When you can’t make decisions for yourself, someone has to step in to make those for you. This includes decisions about your medical care and your finances.
You can determine who makes decisions
Take the time to think about who you want to make those decisions for you. The individual you want to make medical decisions for you is the health care power of attorney. The person you want to make monetary decisions for you is the financial power of attorney. The same person can be both if you want, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
A power of attorney has a lot of duties. The person who will make medical care decisions for you will have to comply with the advance directive if you have one on file. Other documents, such as a do not resuscitate order will also have to be followed.
The person who’s making financial decisions for you should pay your bills. They can also buy and sell assets. They should only make decisions that are in your best interests. If you pass away, their powers transfer to the administrator of your estate.
Getting your estate plan together likely requires the help of someone familiar with your situation so they can help you determine what components are crucial. This is best done quickly so you can rest assured everything is taken care of if something happens to you.