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What is an HCPOA and a DGPOA?

HCPOA? DGPOA? What are they and why do you need one?

HCPOA stands for Health Care Power of Attorney. This is a document that you sign that states your wishes should you become incapacitated. This would include a coma, being on life support or dementia, or like diseases that would keep you from thinking properly and making appropriate decisions for yourself.  An HCPOA, with an included living will allows someone to make end of life decisions for you, based on your wishes, when you are unable to do so. It also allows them to get you treatment or medicine or whatever health help you may need, or forego those treatments based on your wishes.

DGPOA stands for Durable General Power of Attorney. It allows your agent to make financial decisions for you and sign for you. DGPOAs can be effective immediately or upon your incapacity. Basically, it gives your agent the power to do anything you can currently do for yourself-i.e. sign checks, purchase a vehicle, open or close bank accounts, sell property.

Here are a few things to think about while deciding who your agent should be for a HCPOA or a DGPOA. First, who do you want to be your agent? This will be the person deciding and signing for you. When deciding who your agent should be think about who can emotionally make the decision that follows your wishes even when they may have contradictory feelings. It also should be someone that you can trust with all of your assets. Second, are you an organ donor or would you like to be? Do you want an autopsy?

Once you have decided who your agent will be, and what your wishes are, you are ready to set up a HCPOA and DGPOA.  If you have any questions or need help give us a call. We are happy to help you!

What do I need to form a will?

 

We hear about wills all the time and how we should all have them. But what is a will and why do you need one? A will is an instrument that is used to decide what happens to your property after you die. So why do you need a will? Why not let someone else decide what happens to your things? The answer is simple, because you want your property to go where you want it to go, to the people you want it to go to, and in the way you want it to go. If you don’t have a will then the government decides where it goes and to who receives it. Also, and perhaps more importantly, a will helps keep families from being torn apart. I personally have seen the death of a loved one tear families apart because someone feels they are entitled to something but someone else also feels this way. If you have a will then you decide who is “entitled” and a lot of those problems are avoided.

So how do you form a will? What do you need to think about and decide before you can make one? First you need to think about who you want to be in charge of your estate. Some of the things to consider in deciding on a personal representative are:

 

1. Who will your children or beneficiaries listen to;

 

2. Is that person responsible enough to carry out your wishes without causing unnecessary problems;

 

3. Are they able to do what you want even if it is hard to do or they feel it should be done differently.

 

Next you need to decide where you want your things to go. Do you want it to go to your children? Spouse? Friend? Trust? Charity? Additionally, if you have minor children what do you want to happen to them if you die before they reach adulthood. Who do you want to become their guardian and caretaker?

 

After thinking about what you want and deciding what is best the next step is to come in. What do you need to bring when you come in? You need to bring a list of your children and/or immediate relatives with their contact information. If you are ready to execute a will or if you have additional questions, schedule an appointment and we will be glad to help you!