WHAT IS A LIVING WILL, POA, AND DURABLE POA?
There are so many legal papers and terms to know these days that it becomes a bit confusing. What is the difference between a power of attorney and a durable power of attorney? Do I need a living will? And what is that? Here is a breakdown of what this all means:
LIVING WILL. A living will describes and instructs how the person wants end-of-life health care managed. A living will is one type of advance directive. It takes effect when the person is terminally ill.
POWER OF ATTORNY (POA). Power attorney is for finances it gives a designated person the authority to make legal and financial decisions on behalf of the person.
DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNY. The durable power of attorney gives a designated person the authority to make health care and financial decisions on behalf of the person. If you have just a POA, that ends if the person becomes incapacitated whereas a durable POA remains in effect if the person becomes incapacitated.
LIVING TRUST. The living trust gives a designated person (trustee) the authority to hold and distribute property and funds.
HEALTHCARE PROXY. A health care proxy is the primary individual the person appoints as an agent to legally make healthcare decisions on behalf of the patient, when he or she is incapable of making and executing the healthcare decisions stipulated in the proxy.