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3 ways powers of attorney protect the people who draft them

On Behalf of | Apr 29, 2024 | Estate planning

Estate planning is a process that allows people to address what happens when they die. They can also plan for medical emergencies that could leave them incapacitated. Powers of attorney are among the most popular and valuable inclusions in comprehensive Louisiana estate plans.

The principal who drafts a power of attorney can designate an agent or attorney-in-fact who they trust to handle certain matters on their behalf. In the event of some kind of personal emergency that renders a person incapacitated, their powers of attorney take effect and authorize their chosen agent to act on their behalf.

How does the addition of powers of attorney to an estate plan protect someone after an incapacitating medical event?

By authorizing someone to manage their care

Medical powers of attorney are popular among those struggling with certain health issues. People with terminal or progressive illnesses often have strong wishes related to the healthcare that they receive, making medical powers of Attorney important inclusions in their care planning endeavors. Even those without pressing medical challenges may want to provide guidance about their medical wishes and empower someone to act on their behalf if their personal preferences differ from standard medical procedures.

By protecting financial resources

If someone experiences an incapacitating emergency, they could spend weeks in the hospital. During that time, they may be unable to work and also unable to communicate with others. Financial powers of attorney help ensure that individuals do not lose their resources or end up overwhelmed by debt due to an inability to handle their financial obligations. The agent empowered in financial powers of attorney can pay someone’s bills and manage their resources in accordance with the restrictions listed in the document.

By preventing involuntary guardianship

Durable powers of attorney persist even when someone becomes permanently incapacitated. In Louisiana, someone who can no longer manage their own affairs can avoid an involuntary guardianship if they already have powers of attorney on record. Their pre-existing documents can name someone they trust to manage their affairs indefinitely due to the decline in their medical condition. That can be preferable to handing over that control to whoever seeks authority in court.

Adding powers of attorney to an estate plan can be a smart move for those with significant resources or specific medical preferences. Testators who create a variety of different documents can secure the most robust protection possible if an emergency arises.