While no one wants to envision a worst case scenario when it comes to their health, life does happen, and if you become incapacitated, either for a short time, or long term, giving someone the power to make decisions on your behalf can be difficult if a plan has not been implemented beforehand.
Whether you get in a car wreck and end up in a coma, or just start to lose track of things as you age, you will want someone to be there to advocate for your healthcare and to pay your bills and manage other financial issues as needed. An attorney can assist you in completing a “Power of Attorney” and/or “Advanced Directive” to address these issues before the need for them arises. This is frequently be done as part of a comprehensive estate planning process. A “Power of Attorney” can give a family member or caretaker the power to make legal decisions for your healthcare while you are incapacitated and can also be done to give someone access to your bank accounts in order to pay your mortgage, or any other bills that come due in while you are incapacitated. Further, an “Advanced Directive” can be completed to let your health care provider know what level of care to implement in the event you become terminally ill.
If something happens, and these documents are not in place, a Court will typically have to appoint someone to serve in the role of making healthcare and financial decisions. This is called a “Guardianship” and can not only be time consuming, but can also be substantially more expensive than completing a “Power of Attorney” in advance. Moreover, since you have not likely communicated your preferences clearly to this person in advance, they may end up making major decisions that are contrary to your actual wishes.
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It’s never too early to begin estate planning. No one knows what the future holds, but with a plan in place that provides for your own future needs and those of your loved ones, you can proceed with peace of mind. If you or a friend or loved one are considering estate planning for the first time, or are in need of updating an existing plan, please contact the attorney at Skillern Law Firm, PLLC by phone at 918-805-2511 or email@example.com. Feel free to also book an appointment with our firm using our Book an Appointment Online page!