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In the event that you are deemed medically incapable of managing your finances or of making health care decisions for yourself, the individual you appoint as your power of attorney is able to protect you by making those decisions for you. When you designate a power of attorney, you give them the legal right to manage some of the most important aspects of your life.
But when you are incapacitated or should you pass away, the power of attorney would essentially end. With a durable power of attorney, the individual you designate as your agent can still act on your behalf even when you are incapacitated. This important difference makes a durable power of attorney an indispensable element of estate planning.
Whether or not you are incapacitated, your durable power of attorney is able to make decisions on your behalf. This means that, even if you are of completely sound mind and body, that person can affect your estate.
Choose someone that you implicitly trust to use the durable power of attorney appropriately, given that they are able to make decisions that may go against your wishes.
Be specific when naming someone as your durable power of attorney. You are able to specify a time at which the power of attorney goes into effect; for example, if you go into a coma, or are otherwise incapacitated.
Meet with one of our estate planning attorneys in Springfield for advice on how to choose an agent, who you should appoint, and how to make sure your wishes are respected in the event that you cannot communicate your wishes yourself.