28 Apr

Preparation is key for piece of mind

Right now you are here for your loved ones, but what if you become ill or pass away? How will you provide for their needs when you are no longer with them? None of us like to think about sickness or death, but we must not allow our fear to keep us from continuing to be the caregivers for our loved ones. You can still make a difference in their lives! How? It is not that expensive, difficult, or complicated.

Have a Will made.
Most attorneys will draft a will for a reasonable price, and it will not take a lot of your time. Creating a Will prevents confusion, conflict and unnecessary expenses for your family. If you have minor children, then provisions in your Will can be made to nominate a guardian to care for them, and to set up a Trust to meet their financial needs. The lawyer that drafts your Will may be able to make recommendations for Estate Planning. Even if you do not have a lot of assets, there are simple things that can be done to protect your loved ones upon your death such as making sure that your real estate is in Survivorship Form or having bank accounts denominated as “transfer on death” instruments.

Prepare a General Power of Attorney and a Health Care Power of Attorney.
As with the Will, lawyers will often charge a modest amount of money for the preparation of these important documents. A general Power of Attorney or POA allows you and your loved one to take care of each others business and/or financial affairs as a matter of necessity or convenience. You can designate the specific activities that your agent may conduct on your behalf and provide for any limitations on your POA that you feel are necessary. One may use a POA to enable your agent to make deposits at your bank. Your Agent can pay your bills if, for whatever reason, you are unavailable to do so in person. Many daily tasks can be accomplished by the use of a POA, making our lives and the lives of our loved ones less complicated and stressful.

A Health Care Power of Attorney HCPOA is a very important document. In the event that you or a loved one becomes ill or injured such that you or they are unable to make informed health care decisions, an HCPOA allows the injured or ill person’s agent to make those decisions in their stead. Before such an event occurs, you can confer with your HCPOA agent and give him or her guidelines as to the medical treatment and care that you may desire under the circumstances. The HCPOA also allows the agent to take care of many of the issues related to your medical care such as communication with health care professionals, health insurance matters, review of medical records, and providing for therapy or home health care, just to name a few.

Create a Living Will.
This document will prevent health care providers from administering life sustaining medical treatment when one is terminally ill or in a permanent unconscious state, except such treatment as will provide comfort and pain relief. By making a Living Will, you will save your family from having to make the gut wrenching decision of trying to decide “what would mom want us to do” in such a situation.

Make an appointment with an attorney soon to discuss the preparation of the documents described above. It will not cost you a lot of money or time. It will ensure that neither illness nor death will keep you from continuing to do that which you do best; take care of your family!

Jeff Milbauer Family Law

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