Planning For Your Own Incapacity
Just as a will is a necessity in the event of death, you should have plans in place in case you or your spouse become physically or mentally incapacitated. It’s unpleasant to imagine these scenarios, but putting your wishes in writing will give you peace of mind that you and your affairs will be taken care of.
At the Law Office of W. Michael Conway, we will help you cover the bases through customized powers of attorney, living wills and related documents. Mike Conway is an estate planning lawyer who has done this work for 45 years. He handles both simple and complex estate plans, serving Dayton and the Miami Valley.
What Are ‘Powers Of Attorney’? Do You Need Them?
Power of attorney grants decision-making authority to a person of your choosing. If you were hospitalized for an accident or illness, or your mental faculties declined, that person would be officially empowered to step in to act on your behalf.
- Financial power of attorney allows the person to manage your finances and business affairs. For example, they could pay your bills, manage investments and sign legal documents. The agent is legally bound to act in your best interests.
- Health care power of attorney appoints someone to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to express your wishes. For example, your proxy might authorize surgery, medications or release of your medical records.
Mike can help you determine who should have powers of attorney, what circumstances would trigger those powers and any limitations on what the your agent can or cannot do. Typically, these documents are set up as “durable powers of attorney,” meaning that once invoked, they continue indefinitely (until you either recover your health or pass away).
What Is A Living Will? (Yes, You Need That, Too)
A living will declaration, also known as an advance directive, provides concrete guidance to loved ones and health care professionals if you become terminally ill or permanently unconscious. A living will expresses your specific wishes regarding artificial life support, such as resuscitation and intubation. It can also provide direction for end-of-life care, such as hospice care, pain management and last rites.
A living will supersedes a health care power of attorney. Your doctors and family members must follow your wishes – but only if you have taken the steps to record your wishes in a living will declaration!
Take Control While You Still Have Control
Now is the time – whether you are 30 years old or 100 years old – to have these discussions. Without powers of attorney to guide them, your loved ones will be left helpless or guessing and may have to undertake the expensive process of seeking guardianship over your finances or personal care. Without a living will, you might be kept alive against your wishes, or your loved ones might be forced to make agonizing decisions.
Start With A Free Estate Planning Consultation
Mike Conway is certified by the Ohio State Bar Association as a specialist in estate planning, trust and probate law. He is compassionate and patient, putting you at ease to talk through uncomfortable topics and scenarios you might not have considered. For comprehensive and dependable estate planning advice, call his Dayton office at 937-741-3988 or reach out by email to schedule your complimentary consultation.