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In Sickness and Health: Planning for Today and Beyond
By Allyson S. Heller
“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.” ~ Alan Lakein
During this time of unprecedented uncertainty, it can be difficult to think about planning far ahead, to a time when they are no longer here, but what they fail to realize is a large part of estate planning is preparing for the present and not-so-distant future.
Although having a living trust or will, directing the disposition of one’s assets after death, is a crucial part of the planning process, two equally important, but often overlooked, documents are the advance healthcare directive and durable power of attorney, which apply while someone is living but incapacitated.
An advance healthcare directive allows you to choose who would make medical decisions on your behalf if you were to become incapacitated. It also empowers you to set forth your wishes regarding important considerations, such as life support and organ donation.
A durable power of attorney on the other hand allows you to choose who would make financial decisions on your behalf and for your benefit if you are living but incapacitated. For instance, who would pay your bills? Who would deal with financial institutions, social security, government agencies, etc. on your behalf?
Having a properly executed advance healthcare directive and power of attorney will ensure that you retain a voice if you become incapacitated and will negate the need for costly conservatorship proceedings.
With the threat of Covid-19 at the forefront of everyone’s mind right now, many people may feel overwhelmed and helpless, which is why now, more than ever, it is important to ensure that you and your loved ones are adequately equipped to handle whatever challenges may arise.
Allyson is an associate attorney at The Law Office of Tony J. Tyre, Esq., APC, and offers free estate planning consultations. To book your appointment, please call 626-858-9378 or email firstname.lastname@example.org