What is the difference between a Power of Attorney and a Health Care Surrogate?
If you are unavailable, or unable, to make decisions, a Power of Attorney can grant a person, who you designate, certain specific authorities. Those authorities can include, financial decisions or legal decisions or both, but not medical decisions.
A Healthcare Surrogate is the only recognized legal document which can give another person the ability to make medical decisions on your behalf.
What is the difference between a will, and a living will?
A standard will dictates your wishes for your estate after you have passed away.
A living will on the other hand is a document which dictates specific decisions you have made about health care, such as life support and withholding of water or nutrition. Everyone should have, at the minimum, a will and a living will with health care surrogate designation.
Is my old will still valid?
Wills do not generally expire. It is occasionally good to have it reviewed though as beneficiaries may change. There are situations when you should revise and update, but an attorney can advise you as to what is best for your specific situation.
Is a Power of Attorney enough?
That depends on what you need it for. Every adult really should consult with an attorney about what documents would best serve their particular situation. Come meet us before you need us! Rooney & Rooney, P.A.