Critical Estate Planning Check-Up For Uncertain Times
Our current environment reminds us of the importance of taking care of the basics when it comes to estate planning, in particular the following items:
- Durable Financial Power of Attorney
- Health Care Power of Attorney and Advance Directives
Without these essential documents in place, loved ones may be unable to access medical information or assist each other with healthcare or financial matters in the event of an extreme illness or incapacity.
Uncertainty in our current times can lead to much stress: economic stress, stress over our healthcare systems, the stress of social distancing and the stress of protecting ourselves and our loved ones near and far. One item that should not be a stress is whether you and your adult family members have the proper estate planning documents in place to ensure that you each have the ability to receive medical information for one another and that you are able to make healthcare and financial decisions for each other should such a need arise.
Ensuring these basics of estate planning are accounted for can eliminate an additional layer of stress in the event of an extreme illness or incapacity. Discussing your respective healthcare wishes with family will enable you to honor each other’s preferences. These conversations should include your spouse, as well as your adult children, parents and other family members who live close by or those who reside in another geography.
These essential documents include Durable Financial Power of Attorney and Health Care/Advance Directives. A summary of each follows:
- Durable Financial Power of Attorney – A Durable Power of Attorney allows you or your loved ones to designate a trusted individual or individuals to make financial decisions or handle financial matters on your or their behalf in the event that you or they are unable to act.
- Health Care/Advance Directives – Health Care Power of Attorney and Advance Directives cover a broad range of issues and items such as Medical Power of Attorney, Appointment of a Health Care Surrogate, HIPAA Authorization and Living Wills. These documents enable a healthcare provider to share medical information with the appointed family members or other individuals, provide guidance as to personal wishes and further define who is authorized to make important medical decisions on you or your loved one’s behalf.
A review and communication around Durable Financial Power of Attorney and Health Care/Advance Directives can provide some peace of mind in an otherwise uncertain time in our lives. Please contact your Oxford team of advisors for further information on how to shore up this essential element of your family’s estate planning.
The information in this presentation is for educational and illustrative purposes only and does not constitute investment, tax or legal advice.