Making decisions that shape our own circumstance is a privilege worth fighting for. However, one can never predict what the future holds, and it is prudent to prepare for situations in which you or a loved one may be unable to make decisions on your own. This can happen for a variety of reasons ranging from unforeseen emergencies to sudden health issues.
A common way to ensure self-reliance even when you are unable to communicate your wishes with others is establishing powers of attorney. You can grant an individual or an organization power of attorney, giving them a way to continue honoring your personal wishes and priorities even when you are no longer able to express them.
At North City Law, we are prepared to guide you through this difficult process, helping you envision what your preferences would be in a variety of scenarios, and giving you peace of mind over what the future may hold. Call us at 206-413-7288 to set up a FREE consultation today.
When are Powers of Attorney Used?
There are many instances, in which families could benefit from assigned powers of attorney. It could be that a close family member suffers from Alzheimer’s or another illness that impairs their ability to make independent decisions. Perhaps, a loved one suffered a serious injury after a tragic accident and cannot currently communicate their own wishes. Regardless of what the reason is for their inability to make a certain decision, if powers of attorney are designated, their preference could still be at least partly taken into account.
Powers of attorney can be used in the context of legal and financial decisions such as dissolving or acquiring properties and businesses. They are also frequently used in the context of healthcare when it comes to deciding whether to continue or terminate life support, take advantage of an experimental procedure or engage in any other medical process that typically requires the patient’s consent.
What Kind of Powers of Attorney Are There?
Power of attorney can be as expansive or as limited as you want it to be. Your power of attorney may only have authority over your financial decisions, but not your legal decisions, or only your medical decisions but not others. They can be a friend, a relative, an actual attorney or another specialized professional. Regardless of the scope of their power and their background, choosing a power of attorney is an important step as it could help shape your circumstance in accordance with your own wishes even when you can no longer convey them to others.
A durable power of attorney is a common type of power of attorney that can make decisions for the signer until after their passing. A healthcare power of attorney, sometimes also called a healthcare proxy is a power of attorney specific to medical decisions, in particular those related to end of life medical care. Advanced healthcare directives are another form of defining what your treatment preferences are for when you cannot personally voice them.
Establishing Your Powers of Attorney
Unfortunately, because this subject is difficult for many to think about and discuss, this area of personal planning is often neglected. To truly exercise authority over your life, you have to be prepared to imagine various scenarios which might require somebody else to deliver and manifest your wishes. Today, many useful tools are available to help you figure out your own preferences during various possible scenarios and put everything on paper. The experienced attorneys at North City Law are available to guide you and your family through this sensitive process. Call us at 206-413-7288 today and receive a FREE initial consultation.