We have compiled 5 legal documents that every adult should have prepared and safely stored. These documents relate to a person’s advanced health directives and other personal documents.
Keep reading to find out why these documents are important and how go NDA can help you to draft these legal documents.
This is a legal document that clarifies a person’s wishes regarding the distribution of their property and estate after their death.
A General Will allows for a person’s assets to be allocated after their death to people and/or entities of their choosing. Without a General Will in place a person will be deemed to have died intestate and their assets will be handled by a state decided formula.
Having a General Will is important as it:
- Protects your estate
- Allows for tax planning
- Settles care for children, which would otherwise fall to the courts
Visit our Knowledge Center to read more about General Wills.
A Living Will may be known by other names:
- a declaration regarding life-prolonging procedures;
- an advance directive; or,
- a declaration
A Living Will is a legal document that covers a person’s end of life medical treatment decisions.
A Living Will can cover choices on procedures and medications that a person may want, or conversely, not want. This is different from a General Will and Medical Power of Attorney (Keep reading to find out more on Medical POA).
A Living Will acts as the first document that doctors can look to for guidance on a person’s official statement regarding treatment options.
There are a number of considerations for a Living Will that include, but are not limited to:
- Information on DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) or DNI (Do Not Intubate)
- Organ donation
- Pain management
- Feed methodology
The process of creating a Living Will can vary under different state regulations but a Living Will can be created at home or with the assistance of a legal professional similar to a General Will.
Visit our Knowledge Center to read more about Living Wills. You can download our go NDA app to access our template library for examples of Livings Wills.
Medical Power of Attorney
A Medical Power of Attorney is a legal document in which an individual appoints another person to make important decisions about their medical care.
These decisions could include:
- Treatment options
- End-of-life care, etc
A Medical Power of Attorney is used to appoint a decision maker for medical matters, and is often used in conjunction with a Living Will or Health Care Directive, it allows for an individual to plan medical treatment, i.e resuscitation orders.
Despite some similarities, a Medical POA, is when an agent makes medical decisions for an individual, if that individual is unable to communicate with doctors. A Medical POA has more flexibility than a living will as the proxy is granted the power to act in an individual’s best interest and can, for example, decide on whether new medication is used.
When creating a Medical POA, an individual will often choose to make it durable. Having a durable medical POA means the agent’s authority to act on your behalf continues if the individual is incapacitated. It is likely that the Courts can assume a medical POA is durable by default, but it’s best to be explicit when drafting the document – We, at go NDA, can help you draft a thorough and complete Medical POA within our mobile app.
In addition, notarizing a Medical POA is a requirement in most states. We offer in app notary services in our go NDA mobile app.
To find out more on what to do when a Medical POA has been drafted, signed and notarized, visit our Knowledge Center.
Durable Power Of Attorney
Power of Attorney (POA) is a legal document in which an individual appoints another person called the agent or attorney-in-fact to act on their behalf. The document authorizes the agent to make decisions for the principal and this can be limited or an extensive scope of powers.
A DPOA is a legal document under family law that allows for a person – the individual – to delegate powers to a trusted individual – the agent – to handle specified affairs even after the principal is incapacitated. A DPOA can cover a limited or extensive scope of powers and it is important that this document is completed and agreed upon to safeguard against any exploitation.
A power of attorney should be considered by adults when planning for long-term care
There are different types of POAs:
● A general power of attorney
● A limited power of attorney
● A medical power of attorney
● A durable power of attorney
The durable power of attorney (DPOA) remains in control of certain financial, property, or legal matters that are set out in the agreement. A DPOA can pay medical bills on behalf of an individual but cannot make decisions related to the principal’s health.
An individual can sign a DPOA for health care, or healthcare power of attorney (HCPA) if an individual deems that to be necessary. This outlines the individual’s consent to give the agent POA privileges in the event of an unfortunate medical condition. The durable POA for healthcare is legally bound to oversee medical care decisions on behalf of the individual.
A DPOA can be used in relation of finances, or simply put, a financial power of attorney. This document allows an agent to manage the business and financial affairs of the individual and can extend to managing investment accounts, in the event that the individual becomes unable to understand or make decisions.
There are restrictions on creating a Durable POA and as such, there are powers that cannot be delegated under a Durable POA. Visit our Knowledge Center to find out more.
Health Care Proxy
A Health Care Proxy (HCP) is chosen by an individual as part of their advanced health care directive. This person is appointed to make medical decisions for the individual in the event that they are unable to express preferences regarding medical treatment.
Essentially, a Health Care Proxy and a Living Will are two separate legal documents that can be used together to ensure an individual’s medical wishes are fulfilled when they are incapacitated.
The go NDA mobile app has templates of all the above legal documents with real time, in-app support to assist in creating a complete advanced health care directive and end of life plan, at a cost effective price.
Download the go NDA mobile app today to find out how we can help you create these essential legal documents.