Most people understand that having a Last Will and Testament is an important part of the estate planning process. This legally binding document allows a person to determine who will receive their assets following their death. However, if a person becomes incapacitated during their lifetime, such as in a serious automobile wreck or from another type of injury, having a durable power of attorney in place will help ensure that the proper financial and medical decisions are made on behalf of the incapacitated individual until they can recover.

What is a Durable Power of Attorney?

A durable power of attorney gives a named person the authority to make critical health decisions or end-of-life decisions for the person who has created the durable power of attorney, also known as the principal. The principal must be of sound mind when it is established. Missouri law requires that the execution of a durable power of attorney happens in the presence of at least two witnesses. At any time, the principal may revoke this power of attorney. If a physician or medical professional refuses to follow the durable power of attorney’s requests, they may request to be transferred from the case.

Why is a Durable Power of Attorney Important?

No one likes to consider that they may one day be unable to take care of themselves legally, financially, or medically. However, if you are ever unable to make simple decisions on your own behalf regarding serious matters, you will want to ensure that those decisions are made by someone you trust. Creating your attorney-in-fact can give you the peace of mind of knowing that your wishes will be carried out.

How do You Create a Durable Power of Attorney?

You will need to ensure that your decidsion is executed properly under the law. Missouri Revised Statute Section 404.75 provides specific wording and legal alternatives to use to create a document for a durable power of attorney. The person who will be the attorney-in-fact must absolutely agree to their position and the responsibility to act on the principal’s behalf in all situations. According to Missouri law, you must sign and date the document and also include consent in writing to ensure that the document is not questioned or contested at a later time.

Contact an Experienced Attorney Today

It is important to contact an attorney who can help you create and execute this document before you actually need it. You must be of sound mind in order to legally execute a Durable Power of Attorney so that you can consider all options you have as you make your wishes known in the event you become incapacitated. If you need to be directed to an experienced estate planning attorney, call our office and we can refer you to an attorney who can help you. An estate planning attorney can help ensure that you know and understand all of your legal options, and make the best decision for your unique circumstance. Contact Griggs Injury Law at (816) 474-0202 to help you through this process, help you get the information you need, and help you make these important decisions.