What Are “Powers Of Attorney” And Living Wills?
At Lifka & Lifka, P.C., Attorneys at Law, we help to ensure that your finances are managed and your wishes respected – no matter what happens. Estate planning documents can help you provide legally binding instructions and grant designated individuals the power to make critical decisions if you are unable to do so. Here are some of the critical documents to have in place to have a comprehensive Illinois estate plan, to ensure you have the greatest protections possible.
Financial Power Of Attorney
Should you become unable to manage your own finances, such as physical or mental incapacity, a power of attorney designates an agent to take over your financial affairs. It might be a family member, or a trusted friend who is good with finances. You can specify which powers you are granting, which may include paying your bills, managing investments and retirement assets, and even conducting business or real estate transactions on your behalf.
Healthcare Power Of Attorney
You should also have a plan in place for your health care decisions if you become incapacitated. You can designate a healthcare proxy — usually a spouse or other family member(s) — to make decisions on your behalf. A healthcare power of attorney authorizes that person to make decisions such as where you will receive care and the type of care you will receive. You can also express any religious or spiritual values and burial or cremation instructions.
Living Will/Advance Directive
A living will provides instructions to your healthcare professional regarding life-threatening scenarios and end-of-life care. You can express your thoughts and wishes regarding resuscitation, life support and palliative care. We can explain the difference between a living will and healthcare power of attorney at an initial consultation so you fully understand the powers you are granting and the repercussions of every instruction you leave.
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Estate plans can guide loved ones if you are incapacitated and help to avoid disputes between family members. Putting your wishes down on paper provides clear guidance and direction and can immediately put anxieties at ease. It is important to discuss your wishes with an experienced lawyer who will ask the right questions and anticipate scenarios that are specific for your situation. Several factors influence the type of estate plan you may need, including business ownership, marital status, children and your overall health.