People tend to focus on their assets when they create an estate plan, but this isn’t the only facet of your life that has to be covered. You need to think about your final days so that you have everything in place if you become incapacitated.
When you’re incapacitated, you can’t relay your wishes to anyone around you. There isn’t a way that you’ll be able to make legal decisions. Having information in your estate plan about who will do these things for you is imperative.
Written medical instructions
Your medical instructions can be written out in a living will so that the doctors who are handling your care know them. You can be as detailed as you want in the document. Remember, you need to fill out a do not resuscitate order if you don’t want lifesaving measures taken. You must relay this information to your loved ones because if they call the ambulance, those measures will be taken.
You can discuss things like what procedures you’re willing to undergo and what types of comfort care measures you want. Even things like intravenous nutrition and hydration can be covered.
Durable power of attorney
There are two durable power of attorney designations you need to make. One is for your finances and the other is for health care. You can name a different person for each or you can have one person take on the duties of both. Your primary concern is that you want someone who is going to make the decisions that are in your best interests and not their own.
The person who is in control of your finances can do everything that you could do, including selling and purchasing assets. They will also pay your bills and handle your daily finances.
The medical power of attorney enables the person to make decisions about your health care if the points aren’t covered in your living will. They work closely with your doctors and nurses to ensure that your wishes are followed when you’re receiving care.
You still need to get the other components of your estate plan together. These include setting up your will, as well as establishing any trusts you deem necessary. The goal is to have a roadmap for your family to follow in your final days and the days after your death. The more detailed the plan, the less likely they are going to have to stress over the finer points.