If you are a resident of South Carolina and have been researching ways to ensure that your wishes are carried out if you become unable to make important decisions, you might have heard of both healthcare and durable powers of attorney. Knowing the differences between these two tools can help protect you and your loved ones should an unexpected medical or financial crisis arise.
Healthcare Powers of Attorney
A healthcare power of attorney allows you to appoint someone to make healthcare decisions for you if you are unable to do so. This person, known as your healthcare agent, can make decisions about not just medical treatments, but also arrangements such as end-of-life planning.
Your healthcare agent is to act according to what they believe you would have wanted, meaning that you should communicate all your wishes to them. Make sure that you choose someone reliable who will be able to make these potentially difficult decisions in accordance with your wishes.
Durable (Financial) Powers of Attorney
A durable power of attorney provides an agent with authority regarding financial and other matters, such as paying bills, filing income tax returns, dealing with IRAs, or managing property. Think of it as an advance plan for management of your finances should you become incapacitated.
Again, it is important to choose someone reliable who will make decisions in line with what you would have wanted. An attorney is a good choice, since they are legally bound to act in your best interests.
Both healthcare and durable powers of attorney can become invaluable if you become unable to make decisions for yourself. Knowing the differences between the two can help you ensure that your wishes are carried out. Make sure to talk to an attorney to ensure that your powers of attorney are legal and valid.
The information on this website is made available for education purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide legal advice. By using this website, you understand that there is no attorney-client relationship between you and Fraser & Allen, LLC and that the information provided on this website does not constitute legal advice.