A Good Estate Plan Deals with Life as much as Death
In the estate-planning arena, we joke that no one wants to come in to see us because we talk about death. The truth is, estate planning can help as much with things that occur in life as much as death. Here are four ways a sound plan can help with life.
Your Plan can avoid a Conservatorship Should You Ever Become Incapacitated.
When you do not have a valid durable power of attorney created, life can get pretty expensive and onerous for your loved ones if anything ever happened to you that cause you to become incapacitated. This means you are unable to sign documents, make decisions or pay for your living expenses because of an illness or a physical accident. The process of securing a conservator is time-consuming, public in the court room and potentially expensive. The simple DPOA can eliminate this step and a good estate plan is not complete without one.
Health Care Decisions are Often a Mystery and Medical directives and a Health Care Power of Attorney can Assure your Wishes for Your Care are Followed if You Become Incapacitated.
When you cannot speak or make decisions on your own behalf, and another person wants to help you but because you did not prepare the correct planning documents, medical directive and health care POA, a guardianship is the only answer. Like securing a conservatorship, the process to obtain a guardianship can be just as expensive and time consuming. Getting these two documents drafted when you still have capacity, you can specify an agent and back up agents, to handle this for you. The medical directive also allows you to tell your agent and doctor which, if any, life-sustaining procedures you wish to have employed.
Avoid Family Squabbles and Conflicts in Incapacitation.
When you are not in good health and have lost capacity, family members may think they know what you would have wanted done with your finances and your health care treatment and may argue amongst themselves, and in some cases, file conflicting lawsuits to attempt to gain control of either.