As we have described in previous posts, you have several options to raise the chances you will be taken care of if you become incapacitated. Designating a power of attorney can be one of the most effective ways for incapacitated Californians to utilize their own resources and have their wishes honored, while also protecting their assets and their loved ones’ inheritances.
The person designated with your power of attorney would make financial, and sometimes medical, decisions on your behalf, as NerdWallet explains. You might opt for a durable power of attorney, which becomes effective immediately upon signing the document. It’s called “durable” because the power of attorney will be in effect until a specified date or until you die, if you prefer.
On the other hand, you can create a springing power of attorney that “springs” into action only when you become incapacitated. For example, you might worry that one day you will develop Alzheimer’s disease or go into a coma after an accident. Your springing power of attorney can address these concerns if you specify the details in the document. You would want to be specific; for example, you might not want to hand over power of attorney if you are still able to make cognizant decisions or if the incapacitation is expected to be temporary.
When you give someone power of attorney, you are handing over control of your estate and finances. It’s important to choose your designee carefully. This information is not meant to replace the advice of a lawyer.