People often consider who they want to inherit their estate when they die. Fewer people consider who is going to have the job of handling their financial and legal matters if they should be living, but unable to do those tasks on their own. While you are well, you can do a Health Care Directive appointing a Health Care Agent, and a Power of Attorney naming an Agent to act on your behalf if you are unable to do so. An Agent has a fiduciary duty to handle things properly on your behalf. There are a lot of tasks Agents do, so you should appoint someone who is reliable and trustworthy.
The job of being an Agent includes a great deal of power. You are relying on that person or persons to take care of your affairs when you cannot take care of them yourself. Thus, it is very important that the Agent be at least somewhat aware of your financial situation and have the ability to address issues you may face. The Agent may be responsible for handling your ongoing expenses. It’s important that he or she put your needs first. Appointing someone you can depend on is key to making sure your interests are handled as you would have wanted them to be.
The position as an Agent has a key financial component. Assets may need to be liquidated and, as noted above, bills will need to be paid. Annual tax returns may need to be filed. Appointing someone familiar with finance makes it more likely your affairs will be handled smoothly, accurately and fairly.
A medical Agent should understand your health care and treatment wishes and have the right mix of compassion and analytical skills to make sure that you are treated the way you would want.
If you have a family member or a friend who fits the above criteria, it’s important that you have a Power of Attorney and Health Care Directive prepared now. If you have a situation where a family member or friend may not be your first choice for whatever reason, then it may make sense to name your attorney or a local trust company. Hiring Attorney Dennis Twigg or Damian Halstad to discuss these documents along with the rest of your estate plan is an investment in guaranteeing your interests are protected regardless of your health or inability to make decisions on your own. They provide expert advice to make sure you know all of your legal options in case you should have a serious health or disability issue. They both have helped clients throughout the area including Westminster, Eldersburg, Taneytown, Hampstead, Manchester, Sykesville and Mt. Airy. Dennis Twigg is also licensed in Pennsylvania and has many clients in York County and Adams County.
If you need help with Powers of Attorney, Advance Directives, or estate planning matters, get in touch today by calling (410) 848-4444. To see what others have said about us, please read our reviews online.