Plan for the Future……Wills, Health Care Proxy, Living Wills, Power of Attorney and More
During this unprecedented time, we have more than enough time to coordinate all of those loose ends that we’ve been putting off for years. And the good news is that you are the architect, the ultimate decision-maker for your estate and all of the documents that are recommended by attorneys.
More good news is that professionals, such as estate and elder care attorneys, are available to you and can give you undivided attention. Many of them are working from home and you can be sure that their caseloads have dropped during this time, giving them more time to pay attention to your needs. So now is the time to take action, make plans and protect your loved ones and your assets and health interests.
These documents become even more important for you as a senior. Having the proper legal documents in order can save time, money and family conflict.
There are 6 legal documents every elder should have in place.
Your Will—This is a good time to work with an elder care or estate planning attorney to either update or create a will. A will is a legal document that lets your loved ones understand who should receive your assets after death. Without a will, the courts decide what happens to your assets.
Advance Directives/ Medical Directive
Advance directives is one of the most important documents that a senior can prepare. It is actually a collection of documents that includes detailed written instructions regarding the individual’s preferences for medical care and comfort at the end of life. It will speak for the individual should he or she become incapacitated.
Power of Attorney
There are many types of Power of Attorney, so please consult with your attorney.
A power of attorney for healthcare allows an individual you choose to make healthcare decisions for you in the event of illness or incapacity.
A Power of Attorney for Finances allows an individual you choose, to manage your financial affairs, pay bills, sell property, contract for services, select living arrangements, and so on.
Health Care Power of Attorney/Health Care Proxy
Appointing a health care power of attorney/health care proxy is one of the most important steps that you can take to ensure that your wishes are honored if you cannot speak for yourself.
A living will is a type of advance directive. It is a written document that states the individual’s wishes for the end of life. There is some controversy around these documents and not all hospitals recognize them as legal and binding. However, they do inform physicians and other providers about the individual’s wishes that are being carried out by the health care proxy
Do Not Intubate, Do Not Resuscitate
These two documents are essential to articulate the senior’s wishes when it comes to intubation or resuscitation used to save lives.
One of the most important decisions of all are those that revolve around legal affairs, including healthcare and financial planning. For several reasons, it’s important to make these arrangements now — rather than later when circumstances may dictate your choices and your options may become limited.
It is advisable to consult with an Elder Law Attorney.