If something should happen to you, do you know who will make decisions on your behalf? Unless you take legal action, it might not be the person you want.
Before you are in this situation, you can file a Power of Attorney (POA) to outline what you want to happen to your body while you are alive and who you authorize to make those decisions.
What can a POA do?
You make dozens of decisions daily that affect your future. If an accident or illness incapacitates you, you would want someone to carry out your wishes in these different areas. In Missouri, there are different types of POAs, and each gives specific powers:
- Durable POA: This document is flexible in nature and can give instructions to manage bank accounts, sign checks and make financial decisions (such as pay medical bills).
- Financial POA: This document is incredibly important. It allows a spouse or other person to manage an asset held in their name alone. Otherwise, the asset could be in a dangerous state of limbo with no one controlling it and no one able to make decisions.
- Health Care POA: While you are alive, this document outlines instructions of care and gives permission for someone to extend your life, resuscitate you, or other medical decisions.
- POA for minors: This document provides godparents or family members a legal path to temporary guardianship over minor children. This way, they can provide for your children as you would.
These documents are just some of the tools in a spectrum of documents in an estate plan. Some can overlap or serve more than one purpose. If you wish to make an organ or “whole body” scientific donation, make sure your documents agree with previous arrangements in form and function.