The global health crisis created by the coronavirus pandemic continues for the third year, and it has taught us many important lessons on being prepared and protecting ourselves and our loved ones. Estate planning involves more than your financial directives should you pass away. Your estate plan includes an advanced health care directive, power of attorney, and other documents that ensure your wishes are followed if you become incapacitated due to coronavirus, another illness, or sudden injury.
The pandemic has taught us the importance of crisis management and preparing for the worst-case possibilities. You’re never too old or too young to create your estate plan, and it’s essential to update these documents regularly so the right person is listed in a health care emergency. Estate planning requires much more than simply telling your family and friends what you want in the event of a tragedy. Someone may not agree
with your wishes and complicate the process by challenging your health care choices. Without a thorough estate plan, loved ones may ignore your end-of-life wishes and financial decisions.
Our estate attorneys at Johnstone Adams have helped many of our clients compile and complete these documents so they can have peace of mind during these uncertain times.
Advanced Health Care Directive
An advanced health care directive is a critical document that becomes more important as you get older and develop health concerns, but the pandemic has shown us that illnesses can strike you at any time. This is a written plan that explicitly outlines your wishes if there comes a time when you’re unable to speak for yourself.
As you build this plan, talk with your doctor about your medical history, family medical history, and how your current health conditions may impact you in the future. Think over the various treatments you may or may not want, such as blood transfusions. Once you’ve determined your desires for the possible situations, update the plan regularly to reflect changes in your health. Review your advanced health care directive with your doctor, and the loved one you’ve chosen to execute your wishes. This person is your health care proxy, and they need a copy of the document as well.
Our attorneys will make sure your forms are filled out correctly, and each party has a copy. You should keep an ongoing record of who has a copy of your advanced health care directive and store yours in an easily accessible place. Some people carry a card stating you have this document and where to find it or with whom.
The Financial Aspect of Your Estate Plan – Power of Attorney
Your estate plan will also include naming a financial power of attorney to handle your finances if you’re limited by illness or injury. This document can grant full or limited access to control your financial accounts, such as selling stocks or real estate. You may choose a spouse, sibling, close friend, or adult child. This document can be “springing” which means it will not be effective until two (2) physicians declare you incapacitated, or it can be “non-springing” which means it is effective upon execution.
Contact Johnstone Adams About Your Estate Planning Needs
Now is the time to get your affairs in order. Contact our estate attorneys in Mobile, Alabama, today by calling (844) 682-7682 or by using our online form to discuss estate planning.