Powers of Attorney & Health

What do powers of attorney and health care directives do?

Powers of attorney fall into two basic categories: durable and non-durable. Of these, the durable form is the one most relevant to the topic of estate planning. Durable powers of attorney are powerful legal tools. They give the person you name as your agent the ability to manage your finances and property (under terms, conditions and limits set by you) in the event you become incapacitated or are declared incompetent. This avoids many of the intra-family problems associated with petitions for guardianship (i.e. control) of the estate.

The Advance Health Care Directive

Also known as a durable power of attorney for health care, a living will, a medical directive, or a health care proxy — depending on where you live or have lived in the past — an advance health care directive is an essential part of any North Carolinian's estate plan.

The basic purpose behind having an advance health care directive is to name an agent who will follow the instructions you've laid out with regard to the medical care decisions that may need to be made if you become incapacitated or unable to communicate. Conversely, naming a health care agent avoids putting your loved ones through the ordeal of trying to decide what the right thing to do may be.

At Crosswhite, Crosswhite & Johnson, PLLC, our attorneys help individuals and families in the Statesville area and throughout the surrounding portions of North Carolina create effective estate plans through the use of wills, powers of attorney and other legal tools. To schedule a consultation with one of our lawyers contact us today.