Planning for the last few years of your life may be uncomfortable. After all, you prefer to focus on life rather than death. Still, if you are no longer able to make important decisions, you likely want to retain some control over your medical care. Creating a durable power of attorney may help to put your mind at ease.
Put simply, a power of attorney allows you to name a person to make decisions on your behalf. A durable one kicks in when you become incapacitated due to an illness or injury. If drafting a durable power of attorney makes you feel anxious, you may believe some things about these arrangements that are untrue. Here are three common myths about durable powers of attorney:
1. Your representative will not respect your wishes
Turning control of your medical decisions over to another person may cause you some stress. That is, you may worry that your representative will not respect your wishes. This fear is probably not rational, though. Because you choose who to name as your representative, you have the opportunity to choose someone you trust.
2. Your durable power of attorney will kick in before you need it
You do not want someone making medical decisions for you when you can still decide for yourself. With a durable power of attorney, your representative only steps in after you become incapacitated. While you still have your mental faculties, you decide what is best for you and your health.
3. You must use an online form
Hundreds of estate planning forms exist online. These forms tend to have provisions that do not apply to unique situations. Fortunately, the law does not require you to use an online form to create a durable power of attorney. On the contrary, Illinois state law may render some general forms void. When drafting your durable power of attorney, it is better to use precise language that applies to your circumstances.
Creating a durable power of attorney is often an important part of the overall estate planning process. While it may be uncomfortable to think about not being able to make medical decisions, planning for every contingency is usually a good idea. By understanding the truth behind durable powers of attorney, you can better strategize for your future.