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Estate Planning for Medical Emergencies

Posted on Sat Mar 14, 2020, on Medical Power of Attorney Living Will

From Our “Ask a Question” Mailbag: “I am worried about getting ill and my family not having the documents necessary to take care of me. What Estate Planning for Medical Emergencies do your suggest?”

Coronavirus and Living Will

Peter Klenk, Living Will Lawyer.

Estate Planning for Medical Emergencies.

Hope for the best, plan for the worst. If you become ill and are not able to make your own medical or financial decisions, who will step in to help you? Do they have the necessary legal authority, or will we need to spend money to petition the court?  Will your children argue over your wishes? Therefore, prepare ahead of time and avoid these pitfalls.

Here is a quick checklist:

Prepare the Documents:

Have your estate planning attorney draft for you (1) a Medical Power of Attorney/Living Will and (2) a Financial Durable General Power of Attorney.

What is a Medical Power of Attorney?

The Medical Power of Attorney gives power to a “Surrogate” to legally speak for you on medical issues.

What is a Durable Power of Attorney?

The General Durable Power of Attorney gives power to an “Agent” to legally act for you on all financial matters.

Share Your Plan With your Agent and Surrogate.

Explain your medical opinions to your Surrogate. The Surrogate’s job is to tell the doctor what you would do given the facts. If you don’t share your thoughts with the Surrogate, they can’t speak for you.

Provide Them Copies or Access to Copies.

Make sure your Surrogate has a copy of the Medical Power of Attorney. This copy can be in hard copy formate, but preferably they will use a scanned copy. Your Surrogate can store a scanned copy on their phone or computer.  Furthermore, we provide our clients with a portal, so they can easily download and share their Medical Power of Attorney. By giving this portal, if you get ill and your Surrogate is on vacation, a hard copy in their house is useless.

Make sure your Agent named in your Financial Power of Attorney knows how to access the document if you are incapacitated.

Most of our clients have us hold the document and authorize us to release it should they become incapacitated. The Financial Power of Attorney is useful but dangerous. Therefore, take care. It gives your Agent the power to empty bank accounts or sell a property without question. So, most people only want their Agent to access the document if and when they are incompetent. By having us hold the text, it is ready to go, when needed, but not accessible beforehand.

Estate Planning for Medical Emergencies.

There is more! 

Please follow this link to read a more detailed article on Medical Powers of Attorney

Please follow this link to learn more about the Financial Durable Powers of Attorney

In Conclusion: Estate Planning for Medical Emergencies.

I hope you found helpful this short article about Estate Planning for Medical Emergencies. Also, I have included some links for more detailed information. Are you curious about having us draft a living will, Financial Power of Attorney, or other Estate Planning documents?  Contact us. Let our Estate Planning Lawyers walk you through this confusing process. Furthermore, feel free to contact our office for a free consultation. 

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Tags:

Living Will, Medical Power of Attorney

Peter KlenkPeter Klenk

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