Estate planning covers much more than just preparing and executing a will. Bridgewater residents can take proactive steps to protect their interests and assets for the future and their beneficiaries by fully understanding the scope of estate planning decisions they can make during their lifetimes. Part of many estate plans is a durable power of attorney, which are legal documents that give the power to make healthcare decisions to named individuals. This post will provide some basic facts about these devices and how they can help individuals.
Fact 1: Not everyone can create a durable power of attorney
Like other estate planning documents, durable powers of attorney require individuals to be of sound mind when creating them. A person who does not understand or does not have the capacity to understand the purpose of their durable power of attorney may not be eligible to execute one. A trusted estate planning and administration lawyer can help a family work through testamentary capacity issues related to durable powers of attorney.
Fact 2: Durable powers of attorney can be revoked
In New Jersey, durable powers of attorney are revocable documents. That means that individuals may take back or undo the terms of their durable powers of attorney through specific and statutorily outlined steps. If a person decides that they no longer want their durable power of attorney enforced, they can seek to have it revoked.
Fact 3: Medical professionals may not honor durable powers of attorney
Though durable powers of attorney are legal documents that give rights and responsibilities to named individuals, not all medical professionals may choose to honor the durable powers of attorney executed by their patients. If a medical professional chooses not to honor a durable power of attorney, they must make an efficient transfer of the patient to another medical professional in order to ensure that their care is continued.
Estate planning is important for all New Jersey residents, and different legal devices can meet the needs and expectations of different individuals. Attorneys who work in estate planning and administration can support the needs of their clients with case specific guidance and advice.