What's the Difference Between a Health Care Power of Attorney and Financial Power of Attorney?

Attorney Thomas B. Burton discusses what a Health Care Power of Attorney does and compares it to the Financial Power of Attorney and also discusses why all adults should consider having both in place.


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Transcript of Video: What’s the Difference Between a Health Care Power of Attorney and a Financial Power of Attorney?

Welcome back this is attorney Thomas

Burton and today I want to talk about

the difference between a health care

power of attorney and a financial power

of attorney and why you should have both

so this term power of attorney many

people are familiar with but

historically the first document that we

call the power of attorney was a

financial power of attorney or a durable

power of attorney for finances of

property that came along first in the

law the concept that you could create

this document wherever you name an agent

to act on your behalf if you are ever

incapacitated or unable to act so

several years later in the law decades

later the concept was applied to

healthcare saying if we can name an

agent to act for your financial affairs

and property why can't we do the same

with health care so now in Wisconsin we

have both a health care power of

attorney and a financial power of

attorney and I recommend that any adult

over age 18 have both but for sure you

should have the health care power of

attorney because in that document you

name an agent to act on your behalf if

you are ever incapacitated or unable to

act so the classic situation you can

think about is a coma where you're in

the hospital in a coma unable to

communicate you need someone who knows

your wishes and knows you well to

communicate with your doctors about your

care and in the healthcare document you

can make decisions about end-of-life

care feeding tubes resuscitation and

whether or not you want to be an organ

donor so those are all important choices

you make in the document and then you

name an agent to act on your behalf if

that situation ever occurs where you're

unable that now while you are able and

while you remain you have capacity

you remain fully in control of your own

health affairs so this only kicks in in

a situation where you're

incapacitated or unable to act and the

document defines that as a situation

where two doctors have signed off saying

you're unable to manage your own

health care affairs so for instance

mental incapacity or later in old age if

that would occur or again if you're in a

coma you're unable to communicate so the

difference between the health care power

of attorney and the financial power of

attorney the concept is the same you

name an agent fiduciary to act on your

behalf but the health care applies

strictly to your health the financial

advice strictly to your financial

affairs and asset and it's a good idea

to have both documents in place in case

you ever encounter that situation

because then you have one person taking

care of your property and financial

affairs and one person taking care of

your health care affairs and they don't

have to be the same person in fact often

it's not the same person that would be

good at both roles so I see confusion

about that today I wanted to make this

quick video about the difference between

a health care power of attorney and a

financial power of attorney in Wisconsin

why I believe every adult should have

both so thanks for watching and we'll

see you next time.

© 2020 Burton Law LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Transcript and captions provided for ease of access for the hearing impaired.

For questions about this topic, or to suggest a topic for a future blog post, please contact the office.




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