When doing your estate planning, you need to consider future medical issues and the legal powers that you give to your heirs or other trusted family members. Don’t assume that estate planning is only for passing on assets or that it only kicks in after you pass away.
One such document that you can use is called a medical power of attorney. What is it and how does it help you?
Choosing an agent for your medical needs
Imagine a future in which you have an unforeseen medical emergency. Maybe you have a stroke, for example, and you’re no longer able to communicate the way that you once did.
If this happens, the doctors need to know how to treat you. They need to know what types of care you want. They need to know if there’s anything you do not want.
However, your condition may make it impossible for you to instruct them. A medical power of attorney is simply a legal document giving this power to someone else when needed. The person you select becomes your agent. When they tell the doctors what to do or make critical decisions, it is legally the same as if you were making those decisions. That’s why you want to pick someone you trust to carry out your wishes.
How complete is your estate plan?
You can see how important it is to have a complete estate plan that covers more than just your assets. Take the time to really look into all of your options carefully. If you already have a will, you may need to expand your plan to make sure that it covers all possibilities.