Under Pennsylvania law, if a person is unable to make health care decisions for him- or herself, the responsibility passes to his or her spouse. If there is no spouse, it passes on to his or her adult children.
A power of attorney also offers the option of designating another individual to make decisions on your behalf if you were to die or become incapacitated. Contact us at Berman & Asbel, LLP, our Philadelphia durable powers of attorney law firm, to learn more about your options.
Protecting Your Wishes
Our estate planning attorneys will listen to your needs carefully and compassionately; then execute a power of attorney that meets your specific needs and goals. We can prepare a variety of legal documents that will enforce your wishes when you are unable to express them yourself, including:
- Health care durable powers of attorney
- Medical powers of attorney
- Living wills or trusts
It's vital that people specify who will be in charge of financial and medical decisions — someone whom they know will speak on their behalf and make their wishes known. Durable powers of attorney also offer the option of designating a person to do important financial tasks when you or your loved one is physically unable to do things, such as go to the bank.
Special Considerations For Unmarried Couples
The execution of a financial and medical power of attorney is particularly important in cases where a person has a life partner but is not married. These kinds of legal documents are crucial for same-sex couples, whose rights in each other's lives are not automatically recognized under Pennsylvania law. A well-drafted medical power of attorney grants your partner the right to visit you in the hospital, have access to your medical information and make medical decisions on your behalf.
Nominate One Particular Person To Make Decisions
Medical powers of attorney are also useful in the case where someone has several children or siblings, but would like one person in particular to make health care decisions on his or her behalf. These kinds of documents can spare your family the need to go to court and get a guardianship, a time-consuming and expensive process. A guardianship can also be used to protect incapacitated individuals from being preyed on by unscrupulous peoples or scam artists.
Discuss Your Estate Planning Needs With Us in an Initial Consultation
Our Pennsylvania estate planning lawyers at Berman & Asbel, LLP can help you decide whether your financial and family circumstances requires additional instruments to meet your future expectations.
If you want to take your own future into your hands by executing health care or durable powers of attorney, contact our attorneys online or call 484-842-0276.