DURABLE HEALTHCARE POWER OF ATTORNEY AND HEALTHCARE TREATMENT INSTRUCTIONS (LIVING WILL) DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY WILL
The following are three (3) documents that provide for your wishes regarding healthcare, financial affairs and assets during physical and mental incapacity/physical unavailability and after death.
DURABLE HEALTHCARE POWER OF ATTORNEY AND HEALTHCARE TREATMENT INSTRUCTIONS (LIVING WILL)
What is it? The Pennsylvania Advance Directive for Health Care Act allows a written document that contains directives concerning continuation or termination of medical treatment. This document expresses your wishes concerning whether artificial means or extraordinary measures shall be used to prolong your life when there is no reasonable expectation of recovery from extreme physical disability as defined by treating physicians.
Who needs it? Most hospitals/facilities will ask if you have such a document when you are admitted for care.
What does this Living Will do for me? This document also allows, if you are unable to answer for yourself, to name an individual or medical surrogate to make decision regarding your care.
This document takes effect during grave illness when you are unable to answer for yourself and terminates with your death.
A Durable Healthcare Power of Attorney can also contain the authority to admit you into medical facilities during your incapacity if you are unable to agree to such treatment.
DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY
What is it? This document allows the day-to-day financial affairs of your life to continue when you are not able to do so on your own due to physical unavailability or physical/mental incapacity.
What does it do? A Durable Power of Attorney is a written instrument which names an individual(s)(Agent) who will take control of your affairs through any physical or mental incapacity and/or your physical absence from the local area.
A Durable Power of Attorney continues throughout the incapacity or unavailability of the principal (Incapacitated Person). This document can give the individual either general or specific power to control your financial affairs (writing checks, selling property, etc.) during your physical/mental incapacity or physical absence.
In July 2014, Act 95 passed making significant changes to Pennsylvania Power of Attorney documents. One important change is the separation of powers into two groups: those that must be expressly granted by the document and those that are automatically included in the power of attorney document. It is important that any Power of Attorney document created after January 1, 2015 meet the well-defined standards required by Act 95.
What is it? A Will is a written instrument that conveys the assets of the decedent that takes effect upon the death of the maker (Testator (male) or Testatrix (female).
Why do you need a Will? A Will ensures that your last wishes regarding control and distribution of your Estate are followed by an Executor/Executrix.
An Executor (male)/Executrix (female) is a person appointed by you as the personal representative who is responsible to carry out the written terms of your Will and ensure proper administration of your Estate.
The principal duties of the Executor/Executrix are:
to inventory and collect the assets of the Decedent;
to manage the assets during administration;
to receive and pay the claims of creditors and tax collectors; and
to distribute the remaining assets to those entitled Beneficiaries.
In addition, your Will can name individuals to take care of specific people under your care.
A Trustee can also be named in the Will to oversee and distribute gifts to those who are incapacitated or who are minors. A Guardian for your children or those under your legal care can also be named in this document.
What if you do not have a Will? The control and designation of your assets will be in the hands of the State in which you lived and it will follow the language of the Statutes (Laws) concerning who will receive your assets.
Intestate is dying without leaving a written Will that designates your last wishes concerning your Estate and who is to be a beneficiary. Intestacy means that you have no control over the administration of the Estate or the distribution of your assets.
How do you prepare for a Will? It is important to gather and value the assets (real and personal property) of your Estate. You should determine who you want to be in charge of overseeing your Estate, and whom you want your assets to go to after your death.
Please note that wishes for last burial should not be included in this document since it may not be revealed until days, weeks, or months after your death.
What happens to my property after I die? Probate is the legal process where the written Will is recognized by the Register of Wills/Orphans Court and it oversees the official duties of the Executor/Executrix are completed. If you die intestate (without a will), someone will need to be appointed as your Administrator who will serve to distribute your property in accordance with the laws of the state.
Although there are many pre-printed forms available for these documents, consultation with a legal expert is necessary to ensure that all of your wishes are met, along with proper control and distribution of your assets. There are also tax advantages for beneficiaries and your Estate that can be explored to fit your financial situation.
CONTACT PHILADELPHIA WORKERS’ COMPENSATION LAW FIRM OF MULVEY-BUDNEY LAW, P.C. If you need help with an estate or will. Contact Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyersat Mulvey-Budney Law, P.C. today to discuss your estate or will issues. For a free confidential consultation, call (215) 731-0100 or submit an online inquiry form. Our offices are conveniently located in Port Richmond, and Bridesburg to serve the communities of Philadelphia, Bucks, Montgomery, and Delaware Counties.
Attorney Advertising Materials. W. Michael Mulvey and Richard R. Budney, Jr are responsible for the content of this website. This website is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.
Mulvey-Budney Law, P.C. 2624 E. Allegheny Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19134 2761 Orthodox Street Philadelphia, PA 19137 Phone: 215-731-0100 215-739-8521 Fax: 267-818-9171