The foundation of any good Estate Plan is having both a financial power of attorney and a medical power of attorney. Powers of Attorney should also be updated on a regular basis, as a third party (a bank or hospital) may be reluctant to accept powers of attorney that are several years old.
We recommend updating your powers of attorney every three years. If you ever become incapacitated, Powers of Attorney may alleviate the necessity of a guardianship or conservatorship proceeding.
A financial power of attorney allows an individual of your choice to have control over your financial affairs and your property. In New Mexico, we recommend using the statutory durable power of attorney, which third parties are required by law to accept or pay any attorney fees resulting from them not accepting such power of attorney.
A healthcare power of attorney allows an individual of your choice to have control over your healthcare decisions. Aside from a healthcare power of attorney, we also recommend a healthcare directive (also known as a living will), which informs your loved ones and your physicians about the care you want if you have an end stage condition. Finally, we also recommend executing a postmortem directive, which details whether you desire to be cremated or buried and who should have control of remains when you pass.