Estate planning isn’t all about wills and trusts. There are two other critical pieces to the estate planning formula that every person should consider and incorporate in their plan: durable power of attorney and an advance health care directive.
Durable power of attorney is basically a right that you give to someone else to manage your finances and make financial decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated. A legal document dictates this power of attorney, and you want to choose someone who is responsible and trusted.
The advance health care directive is another big part of your estate plan, and it can be contained within your will. The point of the directive is to tell people how you want your medical care to be handled should you become incapacitated. What if you are on life support? What if you are in a coma? What if you have a particularly vicious disease or medical condition? How would you want to be treated in these scenarios, given that when you are in them, you won’t be able to communicate to others about how you want to be treated?
That’s the whole point of the health care directive, a crucial part of your estate plan. Combined with your durable power of attorney, these are two topics that every person should consider when constructing their estate plans. If you need help drawing up these clauses and provisions in your estate plan, talk with an experienced estate planning attorney.
Source: NerdWallet, “2 Estate-Planning Documents Millennials Need,” Rachel Podnos, March 3, 2016