Advanced Planning for Illness and Disability
PLANNING FOR ILLNESS AND DISABILITY: advance directives
Sickness and incapacity can be, unfortunately, inevitable in life. The unknowable is the what, when and how. Even though you cannot answer these questions at present, you can take affirmative steps to ensure that your health care wishes are known and that your financial, legal and business affairs are handled appropriately and by the person or persons that you believe will faithfully carry out their duty.
Those steps are collectively known as “Advance Directives” because you are giving instructions, in advance, of any possible incapacity.
A Health Care Proxy is a document wherein you give another trusted person or persons the authority to make health care decisions on your behalf, ranging from medications and routine examinations to major surgery and options regarding end of life care.
A Living Will is a document wherein you are personally able to express and elaborate upon, in your own words, your health care wishes, and specifically address any end of life options.
POWER OF ATTORNEY
A Power of Attorney is a very powerful document wherein you give another trusted person the authority to make decisions regarding all areas of your life, except for health care. The “agent,” that trusted person, has the authority to not only manage your finances and property but to also apply for and manage your government benefits and handle any legal matter that may arise.
A properly and carefully drafted “POA” can also permit an agent to plan for any necessary community or nursing home Medicaid.
The powers can be limited by you or they can run the gamut.
No estate plan would be complete without one.
While the following document does not address incapacity, it is an Advance Directive regarding what to do upon your death.
APPOINTMENT OF AGENT TO CONTROL DISPOSITION OF REMAINS
Is a document that does exactly what it says: you leave instructions to a trusted person regarding how you would like your body to be disposed of upon your death. This may seem like an unnecessary step for some, but with the changing makeup of families and living situations, burial can become an issue of conflict- unnecessarily.
The Law Offices of Veronica Escobar can explain and prepare these documents for you and give you the security of knowing your wishes are known and will be followed.