What You and Your Family Should Know

Receiving a serious health diagnosis or learning that you need to undergo significant surgery can cause substantial disruption in your day-to-day life. During this time, the last thing you may want to think about is whether your estate plan is up to date with your present intentions.

Although you may have many things going through your mind at the moment, now is a critical time to make certain your estate planning efforts are in order. Proactive estate planning can help put your mind at ease and allow you to focus on your treatment and your health. With the help of an experienced estate planning attorney, together you can make sure each of the following essential components is up to date and aligned with your current goals and wishes.

Attorney-Drafted Healthcare Documents

These health care documents should include your powers of attorney, advanced directives, and HIPAA authorization. Through these documents, you may appoint a trusted individual to receive information about your medical condition and even authorize them to make medical decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated.

You may already know which of your loved ones or trusted confidants you would prefer to be at the helm if a situation arises. However, whoever you choose needs to be given the explicit authority to act before the need comes to pass. This planning will allow you to rest easy knowing someone will be there to make those important decisions.

Appoint a Financial Power of Attorney

A health care agent or surrogate is there to make important decisions on your behalf during a medical scenario. Conversely, a financial power of attorney concerns your wealth –  i.e money, investments, bills, and taxes. Although relating to fundamentally different decisions, it is just as important a designation.

With this document in place, you can appoint a trusted individual, often a spouse, child, or close friend the authority to assist in the management of your finances and property. In doing so, these issues do not have to be a distraction while you focus on your health and recovery.

Maintain Up-To-Date Trusts

A fully funded and up-to-date trust allows you to focus on your health while your successor trustee manages the affairs of your trust, which could potentially include most, if not all of your assets. In this situation, you may still receive the benefit of your trust but your successor trustee will be able to maintain the trust on your behalf.

If there is insufficient time to fully fund a trust, an up-to-date will can at the very least put you in control over who receives what assets in the event of your death. If and when time is of the essence, a will may be the only practical planning tool. That being said, if you already have a trust in place it can be a relatively simple process to update and fully fund it.

Proactive Estate Planning Services

A little planning today can go a long way tomorrow when it comes to medically-trying times. As busy as you may be when handling your own medical issues and concerns or the medical issues of a loved one, even a single conversation with an experienced estate planning attorney could be enough to define and implement the estate planning documents needed for a medical emergency.

To learn more, please call or contact online our expert estate planning legal team. Together we can discuss your current needs and help you obtain peace of mind so you may feel more prepared for whatever comes next.