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We Help People and Families With Powers of Attorney and Living Wills in Harrisburg, PA
At Keystone Elder Law P.C., our Harrisburg power of attorney and living will attorney is experienced, and solutions-focused for clients. We are committed to providing comprehensive estate planning support to people and families. If you have questions about power of attorney, living wills, or another estate planning matter, we can help. Contact us today for a confidential consultation.
Estate Planning is About More than Deciding Who Gets What
Estate planning is about a lot more than determining who gets to inherit what. While handling property and assets is an important part of the estate planning process, a well-constructed estate plan should protect a person and their family no matter what tomorrow brings. Among other things, this means preparing for incapacity and preparing for future healthcare needs.
Power of Attorney (POA) is an Important Estate Planning Document
Every person should have a power of attorney in place. In Pennsylvania, a POA is a legal document that allows someone to grant another person the authority to act on their behalf. The scope of authority granted through a POA in Pennsylvania can include financial management, healthcare decisions, and even day-to-day activities. Notably, a durable power of attorney can be effective during a period of incapacity. If you are unable to make your own financial or legal affairs, the person with your POA can act as your agent and handle things on your behalf.
A Living Will Allows a Person to Control their Own Medical Decisions
A living will is another essential estate planning tool. It grants people the ability to control their medical treatment, even in situations where they cannot communicate their wishes. A living will can outline specific directives regarding medical care, such as end-of-life care preferences. The instructions in a living will take priority of the decisions by someone with POA.
Why Trust Keystone Elder Law for Your Estate Planning Needs
Estate planning is complicated—especially when it comes to issues related to incapacity planning, financial protection, and future medical wishes. At Keystone Elder Law P.C., we are a law firm devoted to helping people and families put the best structure in place to provide the maximum level of protection. Among other things, our Harrisburg estate planning attorney is prepared to:
- Hear what you have to say and answer your estate planning questions.
- Help you understand your rights and options regarding powers of attorney (POA).
- Help you understand your rights and options regarding a living will.
- Gather and prepare all of the required estate planning paperwork.
- Develop a comprehensive estate plan that best protects your interests.
Contact Our Harrisburg Power of Attorney and Living Will Lawyer Today
At Keystone Elder Law P.C., our Harrisburg estate planning lawyers provide comprehensive guidance and support to clients, including helping people with power of attorney (POA) and living wills. If you have any questions or concerns about your options, we can help. Contact us today to set up your completely confidential, no-obligation initial consultation. We provide estate planning services in Harrisburg, Dauphin County, and throughout Pennsylvania.
Power of Attorney
A Power of Attorney can be used to give another person the right to sell a car, home, or other property in the place of the maker of the Power of Attorney. A Power of Attorney might be used to allow another person to sign a contract for the maker of the Power of Attorney (the person who makes a power of attorney is called the “principal”). It can be used to give another person the authority to make health care decisions, do financial transactions, or sign legal documents that the principal cannot do for one reason or another. With few exceptions, Powers of Attorney can give others the right to do any legal acts that the makers of the Powers of Attorney could do them themselves. A General Power of Attorney gives the “power of attorney Agent” or simply “Agent” (the legal name of the person who is authorized to act for the principal) very broad powers to do almost every legal act that the principal can do. When Elder Law Attorneys draft general Powers of Attorney, they still list the types of things the Agent can do but these powers are very broad. People often do general Powers of Attorney to plan ahead for the day when they may not be able to take care of things themselves. By doing the General Power of Attorney, they designate someone who can do these things for them.
Normal Powers of Attorney terminate if and when the principal becomes incompetent. Yet many people do Powers of Attorney for the sole purpose of designating someone else to act for them if they cannot act for themselves. It is precisely when persons can no longer do for themselves that a Power of Attorney is most valuable. To remedy this inconsistency, the law created a Durable Power of Attorney that remains effective even if a person becomes incompetent. The only thing that distinguishes a Durable Power of Attorney from a regular Power of Attorney is special wording that states that the power survives the principal’s incapacity. Even a Durable Power of Attorney, however, may be terminated under certain circumstances if court proceedings are filed. Most Powers of Attorney done today are durable.
Yes. At the time the Power of Attorney is signed, the principal must be capable of understanding the document. Although a Power of Attorney is still valid if and when a person becomes incompetent, the principal must understand what he or she is signing at the moment of execution. That means a person can be suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease or be otherwise incompetent sometimes but as long as they have a lucid moment and are competent at the moment they sign the Power of Attorney, it is valid even if they do not remember signing it at a later date. At the time it is signed, the principal must know what the Power of Attorney does, whom they are giving the Power of Attorney to, and what property may be affected by the Power of Attorney.
Any competent person eighteen years of age and older can serve as an agent. Certain financial institutions can also serve. There is no course of education that agent must complete or any test that Agent must pass. Because a Power of Attorney is such a potentially powerful document, agents should be chosen for reliability and trustworthiness. In the wrong hands, a Power of Attorney can be a license to steal. It can be a big responsibility to serve as an agent.
Medicare is health insurance and covers medical services such as physician appointments, therapy, blood tests, x rays, medical procedures and hospitalization. Medicare will sometime pay for rehabilitation in a long-term care facility for a period of 20 to 100 days, but not longer. In long-term care, Medicaid covers the cost of ongoing support services for daily functioning, such as room and board in a nursing home.
Medicaid is a federal program that is overseen by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). In Pennsylvania, Medicaid is called Medical Assistance and is administered by the Department of Human Services (DHS).
In Pennsylvania, Medicaid funds are not available to pay for assisted living or personal care.
For Medicaid to pay for care in a nursing home, an individual recipient must be determined to need a nursing home level of care by a physician and the local Office of Aging. An individual whose income is not greater than three times the poverty level may keep up to $8,000 of total resources, but may otherwise keep only $2,400. The cash value of life insurance counts as a resource, but one car and a residential home does not count as a resource.
Empowering Clients with Holistic Planning at
Keystone Elder Law
At Keystone Elder Law, we believe that the physical, social, legal, and financial considerations of our clients all intertwine. We utilize an interdisciplinary approach to evaluate each area, which allows for the creation of a plan that addresses the concerns of the individual as a whole as well as the family. To this end, our model of practice includes a Care Coordinator (usually a nurse or social worker), whose expertise complements our team of attorneys.
When the road of life is smooth, decisions about legal and financial matters are easy to push aside for “a rainy day.” Planning ahead, however, will allow for more options as you view the map of where you’ve been and where you want to go. Don’t let a crisis limit your choices or derail your plans.(717) 697-3223