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Designating power of attorney before crisis strikes

Some Michigan residents may be interested in a recent article that discusses the importance of handling powers of attorney before it is too late. In an effort to aid this process, the article discusses three documents related to powers of attorney and offers readers advice on how to approach these often delicate matters with other family members.

The first is an advanced health care directive that grants an appointed agent powers of attorney over medical matters. In addition, financial power of attorney allows an appointee to handle a person's finances on their behalf in case of their incapacitation. Lastly, signing an HIPAA release form allows for the release of medical records to family members if need be.

In order to discuss these issues with family, the article advocates that readers share their own estate plans so as to encourage further communication about the subject. They may emphasize the benefits of power of attorney for someone's grandchildren and bring the necessary documents to the owner in question.

Estate management tends to become a greatly complicated affair if the original owner passes away without making their intentions known, and for this reason, it's vital to plan out such details in advance while the owner continues to enjoy a sound mental capacity. Although crafting a living will or managing other such estate matters may seem a daunting task, it does not have to be. An attorney may be able to assist families in gathering the necessary documents and creating a plan particular to their individual circumstances.

Source: Forbes, "How To Have The Power-Of-Attorney Talk Before It's Too Late", nancy Anderson, November 29, 2013

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