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Powers of Attorney
Everyone, young or old, should have a Power of Attorney for Health Care decisions and a Power of Attorney for Financial Decisions so that they have a plan in place should they become disabled by illness or accident. The person you appoint in these documents to make your decisions in the even you are unable is called your “agent.”
A Power of Attorney for Health Care in Missouri should also contain a Health Care Directive which is the portion of the document that will give your agent directions as to when you would like certain medical treatments or procedures to continue and when you would like certain medical procedures or treatments to stop. You may choose whether one doctor or two doctors are necessary to determine whether the power of attorney becomes effective. In addition to this document, you will need to execute a HIPPA release to your health care agent.
A Durable Power for Financial Decisions will permit your appointed agent to pay your bills and maintain your financial situation in the event you are unable. A Power of Attorney for Financial Decisions may be necessary because of illness or it may be more convenient to have someone else help you manage your finances. Or you may simply want to travel and still make sure someone is paying your bills and watching out for your property back home.
If you become ill or disabled and do not have the appropriate Powers of Attorney, then the local Probate Court may have to appoint a Guardian or Conservator to make your medical and other decisions, and to take charge of your assets and manage your financial life. This person will be someone the Court chooses. It will not necessarily be the person you would have picked. If you have a Power of Attorney, the law requires the Probate Court to consider the choices you made and honor them if it is able to do so. In addition, if you do not have a medical power of attorney with a health care directive and HIPPA release, you may end up like Nancy Cruzan brain dead and dependent upon hospital based medical procedures for life with multiple family members fighting over your medical care and treatment procedures.
In addition, as a parent you may need to execute a temporary delegation of your parental rights if you are traveling without your child, or if you are unable to be personally present with your child in a location that requires your personal presences (e.g. doctor’s office). By a properly executed power of attorney, you may delegate to another individual, for a period not exceeding one year, any of your powers regarding the care or custody of your minor child, except you may not delegate your power to consent to the marriage or adoption of your minor child.
To make an appointment, please call me at 816-256-5440.
I am available to help you in the following Missouri counties: Jackson, Clay, Platte, Cass , Buchanan, Andrew, Davies, Caldwell, DeKalb, Clinton, Atchison, Holt, and Nodaway.
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