General Durable Power of Attorney
A General Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA) is one of the most important estate planning documents. No matter what other documents a person may have, you absolutely need a Durable Power of Attorney. Whether you are 18 years old, or 80 years old, this is one of the most vital documents you need. A DPOA is the document you use to name someone to handle your assets (i.e. sign checks, pay bills, invest your assets, etc.) if you become incapacitated. 40% of Americans become incapacitated at some point before they pass away. This means you truly need a Durable Power of Attorney.
Otherwise, the person you want to pay your bills and handle your assets CANNOT DO SO because you have not signed the document telling Financial Institutions, Banks and other interested parties, who you are naming to handle your bill paying and care when you are sick or incapacitated.
Our law firm prepares, for our clients, the 25-page Durable Power of Attorney that you cannot find on-line. The normal on-line DPOAs are woefully insufficient. Most of them are just a couple pages. Your bank (for example, Bank of America and/or Wells Fargo Bank) no longer accepts the traditional (short-form) Durable Powers of Attorney. They will only accept our modern 25-page (long-form) DPOA. The reason is the new long-form South Carolina Durable Power of Attorney has 15 pages of language stating: (1) the powers of the Agent, and (2) holding the Banks and Financial Institutions harmless for working with your Agent. Therefore, you now need the modern, much more comprehensive, General Durable Power of Attorney. Please call us (or come in to see us) to get an outstanding, up-to-date, thorough Durable Power of Attorney that will actually work for your appointed Agent when you are sick or incapacitated. You may call our office right now at (843) 577-3700 and schedule a consultation with an attorney to get the right documents for you in place before it’s too late and you are in the 40% of Americans who are sick or incapacitated.
Health Care Power of Attorney
A Healthcare Power of Attorney is a document that allows you to name a person to make Medical Decisions on your behalf when you cannot. It is far more useful and far more used that you might expect. (It is not just when you are really sick.) It is also used when you just cannot make a health care decision for yourself temporarily. You might be under General Anesthesia for a tooth pull. And, your Dentist may say, “oh, we need to pull two more teeth.” Well, you are under General Anesthesia. So, you cannot say yes or no. Therefore, your Dentist now needs to look at your Health Care Power of Attorney and see who the person you named as your Healthcare Agent to make Medical Decisions for you since you are under anesthesia and cannot answer your Dentist. This is when you need a perfect Healthcare Power of Attorney.
It is vital to have a South Carolina Health Care Power of Attorney properly filled out ahead of time (while you are not in a hurry, or worried at the Doctors office or Hospital) and can think who you really want to make your medical decisions for you, especially if your spouse is no longer around. Again, the older S.C. Health Care Power of Attorneys are no longer adequate because the older forms do not have the much more updated HIPPA language. This HIPPA language is only in the modern Health Care Powers of Attorney. Unfortunately, if you do not have the modern HIPPA language, your doctor can no longer allow even your own spouse to view your medical records when you are sick or incapacitated. (This is because too many people in the past few years have lied to the doctors and said they are spouses so that they can look at a person’s medical records and they are not actually spouses.) Therefore, you need the modern Health Care Power of Attorney that allows any of your Agents to not only make medical decisions for you, but to also allow your agent to look at your medical records.
If you really want to have health care documents that are modern and up-to-date and that will actually work for you and your spouse and your children, and anyone else you name to make your medical decision when you cannot, please call us today!
The South Carolina Legislature actually created the “Living Will” and it is probably the most confusing name ever given to a legal document. Naturally, now that it is called a “Living Will” in South Carolina, it is often confused with either a “Living Trust” or a “Last Will and Testament.” And, it is neither a Trust nor a Will. A Living Will is actually the “Pull the Plug” Document. Just like the Health Care Power of Attorney, you need the South Carolina Legislature’s version of the Living Will if you live in South Carolina.
The other major problem with most of your Living Wills is that most people fill them out incorrectly at the Doctor’s office, or at the Hospital, or even at Home on Legal Zoom. That is because the S.C. version of the Living Will is one of the most vague and uninformative Living Wills around. The legislature made it extremely short; consequently, it does not say what it really means. When you read the S.C. version, you end up thinking that you want to choose your spouse to “pull the plug” (so you quickly initial that choice) when most of you do not want to do that at all. People execute a Living Will to take the burden off their spouse (and their children) of having to make the decision to “pull the plug”. Therefore, the reason most of us fill out the Living Will is to do the opposite: to take the burden off your loved ones so they do not have to make the decision to pull the plug on you when you are in a complete vegetative state.
Want to take this burden off your family? Call our experienced Summerville Estate Planning Lawyers for a consultation today at (843) 577-3700.