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Ancillary Documents

Estate Planning Ancillary Documents

 

Power of Attorney and Advance Medical Directive are critical documents to your overall estate plan.  These documents provide the legal authority for an agent to make decisions on your behalf in the instance you become incapacitated or are unable to make decision yourself.  

 

Power of Attorney

A written document where the principal delegates to an attorney-in-fact (agent) the authority to exercise financial and non-financial powers on behalf of the principal.  The authority granted by the principal to the agent can be revoked at any time, and terminates upon the principal's death.  The principal may authorize the agent to exercise broad or specific/limited power of attorney.  The broad power is referred to as a general power of attorney.  The specific or limited power of attorney can limit the time upon which the agent may act or can limit the agent to act for a specific transaction.


Advance Medical Directive

A written document stipulating your wishes regarding your health care and medical treatment should you become unable to make the decisions yourself.  The declarant prepares the advance medical directive and the agent is the designated person authorized to make health care decisions on behalf of the declarant.  There are two parts to the advance medical directive.  First, the declarant appoints a health care agent, and second the declarant states his or her wishes regarding treatment and/or life-sustaining procedures where he or she is in a terminal condition, persistent vegetative state, or end-stage condition.  The advance medical directive includes a provision authorizing the agent access to the declarant's medical information in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).  The authority granted by the declarant to the agent can be revoked at any time.

For more information on what defines a terminal condition, persistent vegetative state, or end-state condition, click on the link below.


Mental Health Advance Medical Directive

A written document stipulating your wishes regarding your mental heal care and treatment should you become unable to make decisions yourself.  The declarant prepares the mental health advance medical directive and the agent is the designated person authorized to make health care decisions on behalf of the declarant.  The declarant can identify preferred mental health care professionals, programs, and facilities for mental health services; preferred medications for psychiatric treatment; and instruction regarding third party notification and release of information to third parties about services provided to the declarant.  The authority granted by the declarant to the agent can be revoked at any time.