Estate Planning Law

Estate Planning Guide: How to Leave Your Loved Ones Prepared?

At Doane & Doane, we are committed to making sure your future is secure, and that goes for your loved ones, as well. Estate planning is a vital part of life, as it can ensure that your loved ones don’t have anything to worry about when you pass away. 

If you want the peace of mind that your family has everything they need to settle your affairs, this guide will help. But to be certain that you’ve dotted all of your proverbial “I”s and crossed all of your “T”s, you’ll want to meet with an estate planning attorney

So give us a call when you’re ready to discuss your estate planning needs. We will set you up with an experienced estate planning attorney from our firm to ensure that all of your needs are met, and all of your worries are addressed.

First Things First: Assign a Healthcare Representative

When it comes to your health and well-being, it’s important to have a plan in place in case you are unable to make decisions for yourself. This is why assigning a healthcare agent is so important. A healthcare representative is someone you designate to speak on your behalf regarding medical decisions if you are unable to do so yourself.

There are several things to consider when choosing your healthcare representative. First, you’ll want to choose someone you trust implicitly. This person should be able to make difficult decisions on your behalf, so it’s important that you have full confidence in them. 

You’ll also want to choose someone who is willing and able to take on this responsibility. Keep in mind that being a healthcare agent can be time-consuming and emotionally demanding, so it’s important to choose someone who is up for the task.

Next, Establish HIPAA Authorization

Once you’ve chosen your healthcare agent, you’ll need to fill out a HIPAA authorization form. This form will give your agent access to your medical records and allow them to make decisions on your behalf. 

You should also consider creating a living will. A living will outlines your wishes for end-of-life care and can be a helpful tool for your loved ones.

The Importance of a Living Will

If you become seriously ill or injured and are unable to communicate your wishes, a living will can be an invaluable tool. A living will allows you to spell out your preferences for end-of-life care in advance. This can take a great deal of stress off of your loved ones, who may otherwise have to make difficult decisions on your behalf.

What Is a POLST and Why Do You Need It?

A POLST (Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment) is a form that you can fill out with your physician. This form outlines your preferences for life-sustaining treatments, such as CPR and ventilator use. 

It’s important to note that a POLST is different from a living will in that it is a medical order rather than simply a statement of your wishes. Your estate planning attorney can assist you in making sure that you go through the proper channels to establish your POLST.

Tell Your Loved Ones Where Your Essential Documents Are

Once you have all of your documents in order, it’s important to make sure that your loved ones know where to find them. You should keep them in a safe place, such as a fireproof safe or safety deposit box. You should also give copies to your healthcare agent and any other loved ones who may need them.

You should also consider creating a specialized directive if you have specific wishes for your care. For example, if you have strong feelings about life-sustaining treatment, you may want to create a directive that outlines your wishes. While a POLST form will take care of most of this, you may have other related wishes that you want to be known to your loved ones.

By taking the time to plan ahead, you can ensure that your wishes are respected and that your loved ones are prepared. If all of this feels a little intimidating, fear not—you’re not alone! 

Call Doane & Doane to Speak with an Estate Planning Attorney Today 

At Doane & Doane, we understand the gravity of some of the decisions that go into estate planning. That’s why our estate planning attorney will make your experience one that’s comfortable and straightforward. Our job is to make your estate planning process as easy and as painless as possible. So get in touch with us today and let us know how we can best serve you. Doane & Doane Attorneys at Law is your trusted source for all of your estate planning needs. Call 561-656-0200 or contact us via our contact form to get started.