Serious health diagnoses can impact your life in huge ways, and bring concerns you haven’t thought of up to the forefront. One of those concerns, which is often pushed off when everything is going well, is estate planning. You’ll want to know that your family is taken care of if the worst happens, and setting up an estate plan is the best method for making sure your wishes are known and your loved ones are cared for. But what do you need in order to have an effective estate plan when you’re ill? Every situation is different, but these are the basic documents you may need:
Advanced Health Care Directive
An Advanced Health Care Directive will allow health care professionals to know your wishes regarding your medical care, specifically what kind of life-saving measures (if any) you’d like taken if you’re facing a serious illness. The Advanced Directive designation names a person or people to act on your behalf regarding any medical issues if you’re incapacitated and cannot make decisions for yourself. A San Fernando Valley elder law attorney can review these health care directives with you to determine what will be best for you, taking into account your medical issues and your family situation.
Financial Power of Attorney
A financial power of attorney allows someone of your choosing to make financial decisions for you if you’re incapacitated, or if you feel you need extra help handling financial matters. This document can be necessary if you’re facing a long rehab or recovery period, and can be designed in such a way that it only grants temporary power to your financial representative – once again, depending on what type of medical situation you’re facing.
Last Will and Testament
A last will and testament allows you to plan out the distributions from your estate to your loved ones after you’ve passed. If you’re facing a serious medical illness, it may be a good time to re-examine an existing last will and testament to ensure that it still conforms to your wishes.
You can speak to a San Fernando elder law attorney to determine if there are other documents that may help strengthen your estate plan, such as a living trust, and also make sure that your beneficiary designations on bank accounts, retirement accounts, and insurance policies are all up to date.
If you would like to learn more about estate planning, or if you’d like to discuss your existing estate plan or create a new plan, please set up an appointment at our San Fernando Valley elder law office by calling (818) 905-6088.