In my estate planning practice, clients frequently inquire into the distinctions between Medical Powers of Attorney and Living Wills. This is a great question because, under West Virginia (WV) law, it is not a matter of needing one or the other. There is no battle of "medical power of attorney vs living will." Instead, these documents work together as part of a comprehensive estate plan.
Let's start with the basics. A proper estate plan that protects both you and your assets includes the following legal documents: (1) Last Will and Testament; (2) Durable Power of Attorney; (3) Medical Power of Attorney; and (4) Living Will. In my estate planning practice, clients frequently ask: What is a Durable Power of Attorney? Since the purpose of Durable Powers of Attorney is a frequent point of discussion, below I discuss this estate planning tool's function.