Updated: Mar 17, 2020
A comprehensive estate plan in Michigan likely includes financial and medical powers of attorney. Regardless of your estate size, these documents can empower you and your loved ones with something that might end up being far more valuable than money.
That is your ability to make important decisions about your health, life and finances before you become incapacitated and are unable to articulate these. If you have appropriately created and executed powers of attorney, you will eliminate the need for your loved ones to have to go through a guardianship or conservatorship proceeding for you.
With a financial power of attorney, your appointed agent can make financial decisions on your behalf whereas a medical power of attorney entitles that person to make healthcare decisions for you if you are unable to do so.
One of the most important things to remember about creating a Michigan power of attorney document is that one size does not fit all. Discussing your power of attorney can include conversations with complicated terms, such as a durable power of attorney for finances, and a durable power of attorney for health care.
Determining what these mean for you, why HIPAA authorization matters, and whether or not you want a do-not-resuscitate order in place, can be very difficult questions to answer.
But it is often the goal for someone who is creating these to avoid putting their loved ones in a difficult situation of making that decision on their own.
Remember that for any person over age 18, only a legally-appointed agent can make legal, financial, or medical decisions for them. This point is most important for those parents of teenagers turning 18 soon but also impacts spouses who don’t hold an active power of attorney.
Scheduling a consultation with a Michigan estate planning lawyer means that your loved ones don't have to broach this difficult and complicated process.