Including a plan for incapacitation or inability to care for oneself when drafting an estate plan is a common and wise measure. There are several types of documents that are used for this purpose. A financial power of attorney, sometimes called a durable power of attorney for finances, designates a person called the agent who will control an incapacitated person’s finances on their behalf.

Another common planning tool is an advance health care directive, which is a document that deals with medical plans and decisions. Advance directives should include a durable power of attorney for healthcare, which gives another person called a proxy or health care agent the power to make medical decisions in the event a person is unable to do so themselves.

A living will, another type of advance directive provides medical instructions in the case a party is incapable of making their wishes known. Some individuals also choose to include a DNR or Do Not Resuscitate order, which is a request that healthcare personnel do not attempt CPR in the event a person’s heart stops or if they stop breathing.

Living wills and power of attorney orders are among the many estate planning tools that can offer peace-of-mind to loved ones during difficult times, and allow a person to have control over the complex matters of planning for the future.

Re: Jeffrey Johnson, Free Advice

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