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Allsup Outlines Five Critical Issues for Caregivers Preparing to Take on Financial and Healthcare Responsibilities
Date:8/19/2008

thcare power of attorney, directive or proxy allows an individual to designate someone to make decisions about their healthcare, including carrying out an individual's wishes about whether or not to use artificial life support (sometimes provided for separately in a living will document).

Most state governments and state bar associations offer a statutory template of these forms that can be pulled from their Web sites. Many hospitals and healthcare organizations also can provide individuals with the health-related forms.

While someone can designate the power of attorney for financial matters to one person and healthcare power of attorney to another, it's often simpler and avoids conflicts to have one person take on both roles.

"Inevitably, when you begin talking about someone's healthcare, financial matters come into play. So you want to designate someone you can trust who will be able to look at the whole picture," said Gada.

Healthcare power of attorney forms generally follow a similar format. However, a power of attorney for property and finances can be set up in various ways. These include:

  • A durable power of attorney. This is effective immediately and remains in effect should the grantor (the person that is granting power of attorney) become disabled. It allows the agent (the individual the grantor has designated to act on his or her behalf) to make decisions about property and finances as outlined in the power of attorney document without the grantor's advanced approval.
  • A springing power of attorney. This only becomes effective if and when a person becomes disabled. Only then can the agent begin making decisions about the grantor's property and finances.
  • A nondurable power of attorney. This limits the agent's authority to a specific situation or type of legal action for a li
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