Most of our readers in Houston know that estate plans aren't made up of just a will. A good, comprehensive estate plan will have several other documents included as well, especially if avoiding probate litigation is a goal. And, among the most important documents in an estate plan are the power of attorney documents. These documents come into play when a person becomes incapacitated or is otherwise unable to make their own decisions.
However, what our readers may not know is that there are different types of power of attorney documents to consider and include in an estate plan. First, Houston residents will want to have a power of attorney document in place that designates a person to handle financial matters. This person would then have the authority to make important financial decisions, such as managing banking accounts and tax issues, as well as paying bills and other financial commitments.
Another type of power of attorney document is one that is in place to designate someone to make decisions regarding health care and medical treatment. These health care power of attorney documents allow the designated individual to tell medical providers what operations or treatments should be approved, including issues regarding life-support and end-of-life decisions.
It is important to point out that the individuals appointed in these two different documents don't have to be the same person. A Houston resident might have one person in mind to handle the financial issues, while having another person in mind regarding health care issues. However, the two areas might overlap, so some people do designate the same person for convenience sake.
Source: thinkadvisor.com, "Estate Planning 101: Motivating Clients to Get Started," Rose Watson, Jan. 24, 2017