“Hope for the best but prepare for the worst” is sage advice that applies to certain life-changing events. A sudden sickness or disability can be catastrophic, particularly if you haven’t planned for it. Making the burden easier for loved ones is essential.
Preparation takes the form of specific documents that puts you in control of whatever destiny comes next. Even the paperwork’s location is paramount to ensure your wishes are known and essentially become “law.”
Preparation is paramount
No one likes to pour through papers. However, certain legal documents can determine the distribution of property and assets. From children to pets to dependents, a will, power of attorney, and living trust can bring certainty to uncertain times.
Planning for future health care can be accomplished with advance directives that specify the appropriate or no medical care when you can no longer express your wishes because of disability or disease.
- A living will communicates to doctors your decision on the need for emergency treatment with certain conditions specified.
- A durable power of attorney specifies the individual making health care decisions when you can no longer communicate. The primary benefit is to plan for unforeseen situations that involve a catastrophic health issue.
All documents and copies should be stored in a particular location, from a dresser drawer to a safe deposit box. Communicate the place with a trusted loved one or lawyer and if there are any changes to where the paperwork is housed.
The most emotionally charged aspect of the process is speaking directly to loved ones about your advanced care plan. Sidestepping surprises can help keep the peace during a difficult time. Open lines of continuing communication are essential for your future and those of your loved