Let’s face it, estate planning right now is a hot topic. It is just a sign of the times we live in. But, there are some estate planning tasks that everyone should do now, while they are healthy.
Think about and document one’s health care wishes
When people begin the estate planning process or think about it, they often forget that the process is not just about money and assets, it is about them and their health as well. This is why it is so important to ensure that one’s family and friends know how they want to be treated if they should become incapacitated.
Health care proxies
Also called a medical power of attorney, health care proxies are essentially a legal designation (through documentation) to authorize someone to make medical decisions. In other words, health care proxies are one or more people that act as one’s health agent to make medical decisions, should one become mentally or physically incapacitated, unable to make their own medical decisions. Of course, by default, if one is married, their spouse is this person, but what if one’s spouse is also incapacitated? This is why deciding on proxies now, while one is healthy is essential.
Now that the doctors know who to contact to make medical decisions, the next step is to give the health care proxy guidance on one’s wishes through a living will. This document outlines the kinds of treatment and long-term care one prefers, including whether to be put on ventilators, feeding tubes, life support and other life-sustaining medical procedures.
This is an extremely important decision that one needs to make now. Just because one is facing death does not mean they cannot save a life through organ donation. Go to www.organdonor.gov/register.html to start the process.
Funeral and after life arrangements
Usually called, interment agreements, these are arrangements that one makes while they are alive with cemeteries, funeral homes, etc. This takes the burden away from loved ones trying to plan a funeral, while grieving a loved one’s passing. It also allows for one to negotiate better prices to maximize one’s estate.
Of course, for Godfrey, Illinois, residents and those in surrounding areas, the estate planning and probate process is complicated. But, contacting our firm can help.