A power of attorney is a legal document giving another person (the attorney-in-fact) the legal right (powers) to do certain things for you. What those powers are depends on the terms of the document if you are unable to make decisions for yourself or you become incapacitated. A power of attorney may be ver broad or very limited and specific. There are typicall two types of Powers of Attorney:
All powers of attorney terminate upon the death of the maker. Durable Powers of Attorney should be frequently updated because banks and other financial institutions may hesitate to honor a power of attorney more that is more than a year old.
An advance directive is a document that specifies the type of medical and personal care you would want should you lose the ability to make and communicate your own decisions.
Anyone over the age of 18 may execute an advance directive, and this document is legally binding in South Carolina. Your advance directive can specify who will make and communicate decisions for you, and it can set out the circumstances as to whether you would like your life prolonged.
A document that goes hand-in-hand with your advance directive is an authorization to your medical providers to allow specified individuals to access your medical information. Without this authorization, your doctor may refuse to communicate with your hand-picked decision maker.
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