What are advance directives in estate planning?

Creating a solid estate plan comes down to preparation. Not only should you include how you want your property handled after your death, but you should also plan for your own care.

An estate plan includes more than what comes after you die. A comprehensive approach should include documents that convey your intentions for how you want medical care and transitions to occur. Including these wishes will help you and your loved ones by giving them a detailed plan of advance directives to follow.

What is a living will?

A living will details the medical interventions you do and do not wish taken on your behalf. A common topic that a living will addresses is the level of life-saving measures you want. Usually, this includes a statement giving your permission to take you off life support should your condition render you brain dead.

What does a health care proxy do?

If you fall ill or become involved in an accident and become incapable of communication, how will doctors know your treatment wishes? A health care proxy grants someone of your choosing the ability to make healthcare decisions for you. A proxy may prove temporary or remain in effect until your death.

What is a power of attorney?

A power of attorney grants another person the right to make legal decisions for you if you cannot. It allows you to give someone legal access to tap your finances to pay bills. Designating this person well in advance means a more seamless transfer should it become necessary.

Including advance directives in your estate plan takes the burden from your loved ones. In this regard, these documents give them a clear expression of your wishes and how you want to live out your final days.



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