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POA, living will or both?

Getting a full estate plan together can take quite a bit of work. A lot of that has to do with figuring out what really needs to be included. For example, does one need a power of attorney, living will or both? Some Texas residents may not really know what the difference is between these documents to really make an informed decision.

A POA and a living actually serve two very different functions. A power of attorney gives an assigned individual the right to make decisions on one's behalf in the event of incapacitation. There are POAs for health care and for finances. The same person does not need to be named on both. If desired, it is possible to split the responsibilities among a few people so that it all does not fall on one person's shoulders.

A living will does not give anyone power to take over one's affairs. Instead it is a document that provides direction. It gives information about one's wishes for what health care measures are deemed acceptable.

So, back to the question at hand, POA, living will or both? The truth is, Texas residents can benefit from having both in their arsenal in the event that they are needed. However, some may find that they really only need or want one or the other. An experienced estate planning attorney can provide more in-depth information about each of these valuable legal documents so that one can make an informed decision about what to and what not to include in his or her estate plan.

Source: agingcare.com, "The Difference Between a POA, Durable POA and Living Will", Marlo Sollitto, Accessed on July 12, 2017

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