No one enjoys thinking about the possibility of being unable to make their own decisions. However, should we ever become incapacitated from illness, injury or other reasons, having an estate plan in place ensures your wishes will still be carried out.
Let’s go over which legal documents to have prepared and updated so you can be properly prepared if you should ever become incapacitated.
Establish Power of Attorney
A power of attorney is a legal document designating someone to make medical and financial decisions on your behalf should you ever become incapacitated.
Financially, your power of attorney can handle many types of transactions. This includes paying bills, filing tax returns, managing bank accounts, and making decisions about your investments and property.
For healthcare decisions, your power of attorney can make decisions about medical treatments and procedures. They can also communicate with healthcare professionals on your behalf about your preferences for treatment.
You may also want to consider preparing a medical directive when establishing your power of attorney. Also known as a living will, this document provides guidance to your power of attorney about your personal preferences for life-sustaining treatments.
For instance, you can state your wishes regarding artificial ventilation if you’re terminally ill and in a vegetative state.
When setting up your power of attorney, choosing someone you can trust is important. That person will have significant control over your assets and medical decisions when you can’t express your wishes, so you’ll want to trust that they’ll make decisions that align with your personal values.
There are many different types of power of attorney, so be sure to have your lawyer guide you through all the options. Understanding the different types will help you choose the best one for your unique situation before creating the necessary documents that accurately reflect your wishes.
Create or Update a Will
A will outlines your basic wishes upon the event of your death, including how you wish for your property and assets to be distributed to beneficiaries.
From your children to your favorite charities, you can specify who receives your property, investments, personal possessions and more.
In your will, you can name someone as an executor. This assigned person will be responsible for managing your estate and distributing your assets according to your wishes.
You can also name a guardian in your will if you have minor children, and you can state preferences for funeral and burial arrangements.
Our Arlington Family Law Attorneys Can Help You Prepare
Planning for incapacity can be an emotional process, but providing a roadmap to manage your affairs can provide you and your loved ones with peace of mind.
At Schneider Law Firm, P.C., our experienced family law attorneys can help you navigate the complexities of your estate plan and provide clear guidance.