Important documents you should have in place now

Important documents you should have in place now

| Written by Laurie Taylor | “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” ― Benjamin Franklin When I talk to clients about having their Estate Documents in place, I am often dismissed because "we don't have enough money to worry about." Estate Documents deal with much more than money. They also state your wishes and provide for your needs if you should become incapacitated. At the bare minimum, you need to have in place: A Living Will - A living will is a document that provides specific instructions about healthcare treatment. It is generally used to declare wishes to refuse life-sustaining treatment under certain circumstances. If you do not want to be kept on life care support, you absolutely need this document. Health Care Proxy or Durable Health Power of Attorney - In the event that you are unable to make treatment decisions, the healthcare proxy allows you to choose someone you trust to make treatment decisions on your behalf. The person...
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What is a healthcare surrogate?

A healthcare surrogate, sometimes called an “agent”, is a person appointed by you to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are not able to make or communicate them yourself. The healthcare surrogate is one form of an advance health care directive, a statement of your wishes in case you are not able to express them. Advance healthcare directives, including the healthcare surrogate, are governed by state laws so it may be wise to consult a local attorney if you have any questions. The law recognizes the right of every competent adult to make his or her own decisions about healthcare matters; this includes the right to refuse medical treatment when it is no longer wanted. As long as a person is alive, competent and able to communicate their wishes, they have the sole power to continue or stop medical treatment.  Unfortunately, there are cases in which the ill or injured person is not able to make decisions or to...
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Should You Have a Health Care Power of Attorney?

The simple answer is “Yes, you should definitely have a health care power of attorney for yourself and loved ones.”  This is a good place to remind you of the broader topic of planning for a senior life transition. The health care power of attorney (HCPA) and the living will are two of several legal documents that should be part of a successful transition to a happy senior life. The legal documents required will vary according to your personal situation; however, a will, a living will and an HCPA are basic preparations that people should make. They are not expensive and having them can save you, your spouse or other loved ones from a good deal of grief and expense. A “power of attorney” is a legal document that gives one person (sometimes called the “agent”) the legal power to act on behalf of another individual. This power may be a very broad, general power or it may be a limited, special...
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