Advance Health Care Directive
Durable Power Of Attorney
Planning for one's incapacity is a vital part of estate planning. Every estate planning client should have a Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA) and an Advance Health Care Directive (AHCD) in place in the event he or she is determined to lack capacity; this also includes persons who have a living trust in place. The person creating the DPOA or ACHD typically is referred to as the principal and the individual designated to make decisions for the principal is referred to as the attorney-in-fact or agent.
An AHCD designates an agent to make health care decisions on the principal's behalf, whereas a DPOA designate either the same person or another person as an agent to manage the principal's financial affairs. A major purpose of any power of attorney is to designate an agent to make such decisions without the need of a lengthy and costly conservatorship proceeding in the event of incapacity or unavailability.
An AHCD and DPOA are legal documents which should only be drafted with the assistance of an experience attorney.