Certainly, a durable power of attorney (DPOA) is an important legal document that grants someone the authority to make decisions on your behalf in case you become incapacitated. Here are considerations for creating a durable power of attorney in both Israel and the United States:
- Legal Requirements: Ensure the document adheres to Israel’s legal requirements, which may include specific language, witnessing, and lawyer affirmation of signature and affirmation of legal process. Also proper electronic filing with the Israeli Ministry of Justice.
- Agent Selection: Choose a trusted individual as your agent who understands your wishes and is willing to act in your best interests. It is likewise highly important to choose when to give specific instructions to the agent and when to allow the agent to have discretion to decide on particular issues, such as medical care and end of life decisions.
- Powers Granted: Clearly define the scope of powers granted to the agent, specifying financial, healthcare, or other decision-making authorities.
- Revocability: Understand the conditions under which the DPOA can be revoked and include those details in the document.
- Witnessing: Follow the proper procedures for witnessing, as required by Israeli law.
- State-Specific Requirements: Different states may have specific requirements for DPOAs. Ensure compliance with your state’s laws.
- Agent’s Powers: Clearly define the powers granted to the agent and whether they are broad or limited to specific matters.
- Agent’s Authority Timing: Specify whether the authority is immediate upon signing or only upon your incapacity, making it durable.
- Backup Agents: Consider naming alternate agents in case the primary agent is unable or unwilling to act.
- Healthcare Directive: In the U.S. as in the State of Israel, consider including a healthcare directive (or a separate document) to specify medical treatment preferences if incapacitated. It is important to consider carefully who and how gets to make decisions on important healthcare matters when you are incapable of doing so for yourself.
- Witnesses and Notarization: Follow state-specific rules for witnessing and notarizing the document to ensure its validity.
- Legal Review: Have the document reviewed by a legal professional to ensure compliance with state laws and to cover all necessary aspects.
- Financial Considerations: If granting financial authority, specify whether the agent has the power to manage assets, pay bills, etc.
- Third-Party Acceptance: Some institutions may have their own requirements for accepting a DPOA. Ensure the document meets their criteria.
- Communication: Clearly communicate your wishes to the appointed agent(s) and discuss your expectations regarding their decision-making.
Both in Israel and the U.S., the creation of a durable power of attorney requires careful consideration of legal nuances and individual circumstances to ensure that your preferences are properly documented and upheld. Consulting with legal professionals experienced in estate planning in the respective countries is highly advisable.