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  • Writer's pictureNicole J. Zuvich

The importance of an executed durable power of attorney

Updated: Sep 27, 2022

For most New Yorkers, estate planning focuses on protecting financial wealth and naming beneficiaries who will receive property and assets from an individual’s end of life estate when they die. However, estate planning is much more than just executing a will. One important testamentary document that has great benefit for many individuals is a durable power of attorney.

Durable powers of attorney provide invaluable rights to named individuals to support the health care plans of those who become incapacitated. This post will discuss durable powers of attorney and what they can accomplish. Readers should remember that no part of this post is provided as legal advice and guidance on all estate planning matters can be sought from trusted New York-based estate planning lawyers.

What is a durable power of attorney?

As mentioned, durable powers of attorney become relevant when the individuals who execute them become incapacitated. Incapacitation generally means that a person cannot make decisions about their own healthcare. When they become incapacitated, the individuals who they have named in their durable powers of attorney may act on their behalf to make treatment and care.

Why New Yorkers need durable powers of attorney

No one plans for incapacitation. Unfortunately, however, accidents and surprise illnesses happen. Both the young and the old can suffer incapacitating events that leave them unable to communicate their own wishes regarding their medical care.

Durable powers of attorney are applicable before death and therefore are sometimes forgotten when individuals begin to plan their estate documents. They are important and should be executed by those who wish to have a say in how and who manages their healthcare. A trusted estate planning lawyer can help their client draft and execute a valid durable power of attorney.

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