Create documents for precaution
A large proportion of people wish that one day they would fall asleep in their armchair, on the sofa or in bed and never wake up. To sleep through one's own death, so to speak, is a comforting idea, because the dread of the last moments would not be perceived in this way.
In reality, however, only a few people have this good fortune. Those who want to make provisions for their own death should do so for good reasons throughout their lives and draw up legally binding documents. Two of the most important documents are the health care proxy and the living will:
Health care proxy and advance care directive
This does not mean guardianship as determined by a judge. Many people already have a health care proxy. For example, if a parent goes into a nursing home and the child takes care of the apartment liquidation and finances, a health care power of attorney is issued for these purposes.
Usually it falls into the hands of the next of kin, but third parties can also be chosen for it. The health care proxy can be drawn up by anyone throughout their life. In the document, one or more persons are designated to regulate certain parts of the person's life. However, there are clear restrictions:
- Validity: this power of attorney ends with the last breath, from that moment the estate passes to the heirs.
- Limitation: Within the financial framework, the power of disposal is clearly limited. Income and savings must first be used for the costs of institutional care or nursing care. If state aid has to be claimed, prior withdrawals must be proven.
- Power of disposal: The care directive does not give a person general power of disposal over the person to be cared for. In this respect, the power of attorney for guardianship differs fundamentally from an appointed guardianship, in which decisions can also be made about accommodation or assets in full, but always in favor of the person being guarded. A private power of attorney for guardianship does not, for example, authorize the person in charge to sell a house or a company. Official legal bodies are again required for this.
There are many rumors surrounding the issue of a care directive. Basically, however, it serves even at a young age to ensure, for example, after an accident with a longer hospital stay, that person X is allowed to enter the house, open the mail or even pay bills on behalf of the "cared for" person.
Parents can, for example, use such a care power of attorney to stipulate that the best friend will look after the child for a limited time in the event of an accident. Others can stipulate that person Y may take care of the animals in the name of the cared-for person and present them to a veterinarian on behalf of the cared-for person.
The simplest form of power of attorney for care is the so-called emergency power of attorney. For people without direct relatives, this power of attorney authorizes a friend not only to be informed first in an emergency, but also to take the clothes to the hospital - and to be informed about the condition.