Addressing The Possibility Of Incapacity
Planning for your future is not limited to financial planning. It is also important to specify your health care wishes. Because the laws that govern powers of attorney and living wills can be confusing, you want to work with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney.
At Michael Overmann, Ltd., we help clients understand the difference between powers of attorney and living wills. Then we set up the plan that best suits each client’s needs. For a free consultation, please call 630-395-7948 in DuPage County, 708-590-4599 in Will County or contact us online.
Powers Of Attorney And Living Wills
To provide for medical care and other expenses in the event you are incapacitated, we can create a durable power of attorney for property. This grants authority to a money manager to make decisions about your finances and real estate. The money manager is often the same person who is the executor or trustee of your will.
Medical or health care powers of attorney let you name a guardian for yourself to make health care decisions for you if you become incapacitated due to injury or illness. The guardian does not have to be the same person who is the money manager for your durable power of attorney. A medical power of attorney is used to specify your preferences for health care treatment and end-of-life issues.
A living will also deals with end-of-life treatment. However, this document, also called an “advance directive,” lets a doctor make the decision to withhold treatment if your guardian is unavailable. It is proof that you do not want life support continued indefinitely and releases the doctor from liability.
We recommend that clients create a living will and a medical power of attorney to adequately address end-of-life decisions. These documents must comply with Illinois statutes to be legal. The assistance of a skilled lawyer is critical.