End of Life Planning Essentials
Taking Control of End-of-Life Planning
Facing a terminal diagnosis can be emotionally overwhelming, but addressing legal considerations is crucial during this time. Ensuring that your affairs are in order becomes exceptionally important. Here are some key steps to consider.
Identifying Your Family's Needs
Start by reviewing your existing arrangements, including your will, beneficiary designations, health care proxy, and durable power of attorney. Ensure that these documents are up to date and that they designate the right individuals for critical decision-making roles. Explore our end of life legal and financial checklist for a comprehensive overview.
Assessing Capacity to Change Estate Planning Documents
The legal standard for competency is relatively low, meaning even individuals with conditions like Alzheimer's may still be legally capable of updating estate planning documents. Seek guidance from an experienced estate planning attorney to assess and document mental capacity to make or change estate planning documents.
Making the Neccessary Changes
From updating documents to reviewing estate plans and beneficiary designations, take action promptly. While adjusting estate planning documents requires legal advice, you can independently update beneficiary designations by contacting the respective institutions.
Planning for Immediate Cash Needs
Understand that the power of attorney held during a loved one's lifetime expires upon their death. To avoid financial challenges while waiting for the probate process to begin, ensure there's an account with accessible cash, held jointly with rights of survivorship.
Validating the Health Care Proxy
Activating a health care proxy can be more complex than anticipated. Ensure your primary care provider has a copy of the proxy and clarify when it should be activated. Additionally, confirm that the proxy authorizes health care providers to share medical information, which is vital in emergency situations.
Understanding Care Options
While not a legal matter, it's essential to educate yourself on different care options, such as regular care, palliative care, and hospice care. The person holding the health care proxy should fully comprehend these choices, as they can evolve over time. Seek guidance from hospital social workers or case managers for objective and compassionate insights.
In these challenging times, it's essential to remember that we've walked this path ourselves, and we understand the emotional and legal complexities you're facing. Our heartfelt commitment is to provide guidance and support throughout your end-of-life planning journey. We're here not just as professionals but as compassionate allies, ready to assist you in every way possible. Please don't hesitate to reach out, as your peace of mind is our top priority.
Questions About End of Life Planning?
Questions About an End of Life Planning Issue?
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How Our Estate Planning Attorneys Can Help
Our experienced team is here to guide you through end-of-life planning, offering valuable insights and compassionate support to ensure your wishes are met. You can use the button below to schedule your free information call, or simply give us a call at 781-784-2322.