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Three End-of-Life Issues You Need to Think About

Thinking about issues that affect you at the end of your life may seem stressful or uncomfortable, but it's vital that you get your affairs in order as early as possible. Here are three or more important issues you need to think about.

No matter how old you currently are, it's never too early to start thinking about end-of-life care and legal issues that may affect you and your loved ones. While thinking about the future may be uncomfortable and even unpleasant, the reality is that properly preparing for the future can help minimize stress and emotional trauma for your loved ones. There are several things you can do to ensure that you receive the care and the treatment that you want and deserve. One of the most valuable things you can do is to meet with an elder law attorney who can guide you through the process of creating the legal documents your loved ones need to help you receive the care you need. Your lawyer will help you address three very important end-of-life documents and legal issues. It is also important to review what is not included in these documents. Here's what you need to know.

Creating a will

Your will is probably one of the first things to spring to mind when you think of end-of-life care. It's true that your will is an important document that is also incredibly powerful. It lets your friends, family members, and loved ones know what your specific wishes are when it comes to both your care and your belongings. While creating a will can be emotionally challenging, especially if you have a large number of assets, it's very important to do so. The elder law attorney can also help you provide for the quality of life of your surviving spouse while increasing the gift to your heirs by creating a will that may contains a trust for that surviving spouse. The will also allows you to protect others by setting up special needs trusts or spendthrift trusts for their benefit. You can also nominate a guardian for your young children and decide who will manage their money. You also need to make sure that you specify exactly who you want included in your will and, if applicable, who you do not want to receive an inheritance from you.

Appointing a power of attorney

You may want to consider appointing someone to be your power of attorney. This person will have the ability to make legal decisions for you should you be unable to do so yourself. When you select a power of attorney, you'll have the option to decide what types of decisions this person can make. For example, should they be able to sell your property? Access your bank account? Make purchases on your behalf? When you sign a power of attorney you are not giving up your own right to make decisions. Accidents and sudden illness happen to people. Having a power of attorney can be an important part of moving forward with your life and ensuring that someone is able to make choices for you when you are unable to do so.

Creating a will

Your will is probably one of the first things to spring to mind when you think of end-of-life care. It's true that your will is an important document that is also incredibly powerful. It lets your friends, family members, and loved ones know what your specific wishes are when it comes to both your care and your belongings. While creating a will can be emotionally challenging, especially if you have a large number of assets, it's very important to do so. You also need to make sure that you specify exactly who you want included in your will and, if applicable, who you do not want to receive an inheritance from you.

Appointing a power of attorney

You may want to consider appointing someone to be your power of attorney. This person will have the ability to make legal decisions for you should you be unable to do so yourself. When you select a power of attorney, you'll have the option to decide what types of decisions this person can make. For example, should they be able to sell your property? Access your bank account? Make purchases on your behalf? You may also specify whether they can make medical decisions for you. Having a power of attorney can be an important part of moving forward with your life and ensuring that someone is able to make choices for you when you are unable to do so.

Developing an advanced medical directive

Each person's personality, lifestyle, and preferences are different. This is why it's important to consider utilizing an advanced medical directive. This type of document specifies what type of medical care you want to receive. For example, do you want to be put on life support if necessary? While these questions are difficult to consider, they're also important to have documented on paper. Your attorney can help you draft this type of document and create a legally binding advanced medical directive that lets your loved ones know exactly what type of care you want to receive.

Whether you're in your twenties or your eighties, it's important to think about end-of-life issues and care. Make sure you meet with an attorney early on so you can create the legal documentation you need to ensure you receive the care you want and to finalize your personal preferences when it comes to the treatment you receive.