Advance Directives And Powers Of Attorney

Advance directives or powers of attorney are important parts of any comprehensive estate plan. They permit you to provide instructions to members of your family, your caregivers and your doctors as to your wishes for your care, and they also provide the legal authority for someone to make financial decisions for you and your business.

At John A. Cochran, Esquire, I can help you determine the type of advance directive or power of attorney you need and draft the documents you need. These documents may be created on their own, but they are most effective if they are part of an overall estate plan. I can help put together an estate plan that takes into account all of the personal, financial and tax elements of your life to help you meet your goals and those of your family.

Advance Directives

In Pennsylvania, an estate plan should contain a:

  • Pennsylvania advance health care directive
  • Durable health care power of attorney
  • Living will

These documents provide instructions to a physician on the type of health care intervention you wish to receive during a time of incapacity when you cannot speak for yourself. It details your wishes for medical treatment.

A durable health care power of attorney allows someone you name as your agent to speak for you. Depending on your circumstance, you can authorize them to speak for you immediately or only in the event you are unable to understand or communicate. During the drafting process, I will help you fill out these forms and explain the meaning and effect of each.

Powers Of Attorney

Powers of Attorney are versatile documents. They grant "power" to an individual to act on your behalf, either in a single transaction, such as the closing of a real estate deal, or as in the case of a durable health care power of attorney for a broad range of matters relating to your personal health care. "Durable" in this context means the agent is authorized in the event of your incapacity; otherwise, power of attorney is automatically terminated by incapacity.

If you own a business, or even if you just need to pay your mortgage on time, it is a good idea to have a durable power of attorney for your spouse or a trusted relative, friend or business associate, as your business and your family could suffer if you were incapacitated in a car crash or health care crisis and they had no way to pay your bills or those of your business.

Contact My Office

To schedule a consultation with an experienced lawyer who can help you with your powers of attorney or preparing an advance directive, call John A. Cochran at my Greensburg office at 724-216-0704 or use my online form.