What is a durable power of attorney?
Estate planning for South Carolina residents often focuses on what happens to a person’s property and assets when they die. However, there is a difficult period of time that some families go through where a loved one is still alive but incapacitated due to injury or illness. When a person is incapacitated, they cannot make decisions for themselves or communicate their preferences for their medical care or treatment.
South Carolina recognizes durable powers of attorney for just these situations. They are subject to the laws of the state, and when an individual wishes to execute one as part of their estate plan, they can seek the counsel of a trusted lawyer for help to achieve their goals.
Legal requirements of durable powers of attorney
Like other estate planning documents, durable powers of attorney must meet specific legal requirements. For example, they must be signed and dated and must be attested to by two witnesses. Durable powers of attorney must name agents to act on the incapacitated parties’ behalf and must include their names and addresses. In South Carolina, durable powers of attorney must be revocable by their creators.
The benefits of a durable power of attorney
It can be hard to imagine a situation where a person cannot speak for themselves with regard to their potentially life-sustaining medical care. For those who do not wish to prolong their lives in the face of unrecoverable medical conditions, durable powers of attorney can provide guidance to those individuals they name and trust to make decisions about how their end-of-life care is managed. They can answer difficult questions about difficult medical situations that no family ever wants to confront.
Durable powers of attorney are just one of many different estate planning tools that can benefit South Carolina residents. Preparing a comprehensive estate plan can give a person peace of mind about the future and confidence that their wishes will be honored when they are gone.