Power Of Attorney - La Porte, IN.

Serving Michigan City, Portage, Chesterton, New Carlisle & The Greater NW Indiana 

Building an effective estate plan calls for more than simply considering who will receive which assets upon death. A truly effective estate plan also makes provisions for your own future as well. Addressing questions about who will make decisions for you in the future should you be unable to is an important factor when constructing an effective estate plan.

What Is A Power Of Attorney In Indiana?

An Indiana Power of Attorney, also known as a POA, is a legal document that allows someone else to manage your legal and financial affairs on your behalf, such as signing contracts, accessing your bank accounts & selling your real estate. The “principal” is the person who grants permission, where the “agent” is the person or thing who obtains authority.

A POA can be narrow (e.g., only giving the agent very limited authority) or it can be very broad (e.g., giving the agent the authority to do virtually anything that the principal could do).  Furthermore, a POA can be effective immediately or it can be effective only when a particular circumstance arises (such as the principal’s attending physician certifying in writing that the principal is no longer competent to manage his own affairs).  We will fully discuss your options with you and assist you in reaching a decision as to what type of POA is the better fit for you.

The financial POA is an important tool to be used in the event you become incapacitated due to a sudden accident, old age, or illness.  In the absence of a financial POA, it may be necessary for your family to go to court and have a Guardian appointed to manage your financial affairs.  If you have executed the proper POA, you can save the time and expense of having to hire an attorney to commence guardianship proceedings.

In addition to a financial POA, you can execute what is called an Advance Directive to appoint a Healthcare Representative.  A Healthcare Representative is authorized to make decisions regarding your medical treatment in the event that you are unable to make those decisions yourself.  Rather than leaving that burden with your loved ones, your Healthcare Representative is authorized to make those decisions on your behalf.  This also helps to avoid confusion because your medical provider will know who is legally authorized to make those decisions.  As with the financial POA, the Advance Directive is an important tool to use to avoid the need for guardianship proceedings.

The Advance Directive also can address the issue of the extent of the medical treatment you wish to receive in the event you have a terminal condition.  Indiana is phasing out the use of a Living Will at the end of 2022 in favor of the Advance Directive.  We find that most of our clients do not wish to receive extraordinary medical care if they are unable to make medical decisions and they have been diagnosed with a terminal condition.  In other words, if extraordinary medical care cannot preserve life, but only serves to prolong the dying process, most clients desire to be kept as comfortable as possible, but not to be subjected to extreme procedures.

If you are considering making an estate plan, learning about the POA and the Advance Directive is important.  Let Huelat & Mack help you through these complex issues.  Call today and schedule an appointment at our office in La Porte, Indiana.


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