Powers of Attorney and Advance Directives for Health Care

Knowledgeable Elder Law Guidance

When you or a loved one is advancing in age, it is important to hire an attorney who can help plan for the future, including ongoing healthcare and housing needs. At Akridge & Balch, P.C., we provide clients throughout East Alabama with valuable guidance in resolving elder law concerns.

Our knowledgeable attorneys will communicate clearly with you about what to expect. Contact us by calling 334-246-4697 to schedule a free initial consultation.

The requirements to receive Medicare and Medicaid funding can be confusing. To learn more about these programs and how they may impact your long-term care plan, contact our firm today to schedule a consultation with a lawyer experienced in elder law issues.

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At Akridge & Balch, P.C., our firm is comprised of several knowledgeable and experienced lawyers and paralegals. We will provide you with valuable legal guidance regarding your elder law concerns and communicate directly with you throughout the duration of your case. Let us help you tackle the legal challenges of growing older.

Contact us at 334-246-4697 to discuss your elder law concerns in a free initial consultation at our office in Auburn, Alabama. We are open on weekdays from 8 until 5 and on Saturday from 9 until noon. We offer a variety of fee arrangements and accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover.

Powers of Attorney and Advance Directives for Health Care

Many people worry about what could happen to them if they suffered a medical emergency or became incapacitated. Luckily, most states recognize the need to plan for future incapacity with planning tools referred to as advance directives. Advance directives can include durable powers of attorney for financial matters or health care, and "do not hospitalize" or "do not resuscitate" orders. With these tools, people can direct one or more persons to make certain health care and financial decisions in the event of their incapacity. States have different requirements, so it is important to understand what documents are needed to create valid advance directives. Contact Akridge & Balch, P.C. in Auburn, Alabama, for help executing powers of attorney and advance directives that comply with your state's laws.

Durable powers of attorney

Seniors can use a durable power of attorney to ensure that their finances and property are properly managed in the event of incapacity. In most states, durable powers of attorney can be drafted to take effect immediately or upon a certain condition (commonly referred to as a "springing power of attorney"), such as incapacity or medical emergency. Principals can designate the powers that their agents can exercise. For example, the agent may have the power to write a check from one of the principal's accounts, but not to make financial transactions from another account. Other powers could include the power to sell property or enter into contracts.

Health care powers of attorney

A health care power of attorney is another planning tool that allows competent persons to make written decisions in advance about medical treatment and designate an agent to carry out their wishes should they become incapacitated. Almost all states recognize health care powers of attorney, although they may be called "advance directives" or "living wills" depending on the state.

Most states have laws that spell out the requirements that are necessary for health care powers of attorney and what is needed for one to come into effect. Generally, a determination of medical incapacity by a doctor is required before the agent may exercise his or her powers under the document. Since there may be circumstances when a person is unable to make health care decisions on his or her own but may not meet the medical definition of incapacity, it is important for long-term health plans to take this into consideration.

Speak to an elder law attorney

Once you have made the important decision to create an advance directive or power of attorney, contact an experienced elder law attorney from Akridge & Balch, P.C. in Auburn, Alabama. He or she can explain your state's requirements and help you draft documents that will best meet your long-term care needs.

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