Points to know
- Familiarize yourself with a few important documents and designations that'll help you prepare for health issues later on.
- Distribute copies of the documents to the people who will carry out your wishes.
Arranging for a loved one to manage your affairs
These documents enable you to make decisions about potential health issues or empower a loved one to make decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated.
Durable power of attorney
A durable power of attorney (POA) is a document appointing an agent or attorney-in-fact to have access to and oversight over your financial affairs. A durable power of attorney remains in effect even if the person granting it becomes incapacitated.
Many financial institutions have their own authorizations for this purpose. For example, Vanguard will accept an attorney-drafted POA, but for our clients' convenience, we offer our Full Agent Authorization.
Health care proxy
A health care proxy (also known as a health care surrogate or health care power of attorney) designates someone to make decisions about your medical care if you're unable to do so.
You should provide a copy of your health care proxy to the person designated as your agent.
A living will (advanced medical directive) provides instructions to your physician about the types of life-sustaining treatment you do or don't want if you're unable to communicate those decisions yourself.
Make sure your family has a copy, and place a copy on file with your health care providers. You may also want to carry a copy with you.
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Vanguard's advice services are provided by Vanguard Advisers, Inc. ("VAI"), a registered investment advisor, or by Vanguard National Trust Company ("VNTC"), a federally chartered, limited-purpose trust company.
The services provided to clients will vary based upon the service selected, including management, fees, eligibility, and access to an advisor. Find VAI's Form CRS and each program's advisory brochure here for an overview.
VAI and VNTC are subsidiaries of The Vanguard Group, Inc., and affiliates of Vanguard Marketing Corporation. Neither VAI, VNTC, nor its affiliates guarantee profits or protection from losses.