Estate Planning Lawyer
It is not unusual for newspapers, magazines, and even the Evening News to report on the subject of estate planning as it pertains to preparing for one’s own death. However, it is less common for the media to report on the aspects of estate planning designed to help individuals advocate on behalf of their own interests in the event there incapacitated by serious illness or serious injury.
Individuals who have been diagnosed with the critical illness may be familiar with the concept of naming a power of attorney or multiple individuals to serve in a power of attorney role. However, most other adults are unaware that they need to take this step in anticipation of the unexpected. A critical illness can strike someone down within a matter of days. A heart attack or stroke can strike someone down instantly. Similarly, a work accident or an automobile accident can change the course of someone’s life in less than a minute. If you have not named a power of attorney or multiple people to serve in this role on your behalf, you need to prepare for the idea that today could be your last healthy day for a long time.
What Does a Power of Attorney Do?
As an experienced Knoxville, TN estate planning lawyer – including those who practice at Carpenter & Lewis PLLC – can confirm, different states take different approaches when it comes to the role of power of attorney. This role may be referenced by a different name and the process of naming someone to this authority on your behalf will likely vary depending upon where you live. Thankfully, an experienced estate planning attorney can help you to navigate the ins and outs of naming someone (or multiple people) to serve your interests in the event of your incapacitation.
A power of attorney is granted the authority to make medical, financial, legal, and even business decisions on your behalf in the event that you are no longer in a position to make these decisions on your own. You can name someone as a general power of attorney or you can designate multiple people to serve in different roles. For example, you may wish to have your mother make medical decisions on your behalf, your spouse to make financial and legal decisions on your behalf, and your business partner to make business decisions on your behalf.
It is important to note that anyone named as a medical power of attorney will only be called upon to make decisions on your behalf if some kind of treatment or course of action is not outlined in an advanced health care directive crafted by you. Therefore, if you have not already drafted an advanced health care directive, now would be a good time to do so. In this document, you will be able to outline what kinds of medical care you do and don’t want to receive in the event that you can’t make medical decisions for yourself. Any additional decisions that need to be made will be directed to your medical or general power of attorney.