Every individual and family can benefit from estate planning. For some people, however, effective planning requires a higher level of asset protection. Estate planning covers more than death and taxes; for many people, it's about maintaining their “voice” and clearly outlining their wishes in the event of incapacity or disability.
Far too many people assume that their loved ones know their wishes and are prepared to honor them if a medical crisis strikes. Unfortunately, tragic accidents or other life-altering events can change things. So can the input and influence from other family members. For your wishes to be preserved, the best thing to do is to put them in writing.
There are many tough questions that need to be answered when planning for the worst. But as hard as it is to imagine a tragedy happening that would leave you unable to care for yourself, it would be even harder on your spouse or other family members if they had to face the difficult task of guessing what your wishes are.
So, take a deep breath and ask yourself, “What if something terrible happened to me?” Then answer the following questions:
- Who would I want to make medical decisions on my behalf?
- If I were not improving, would I want to be taken off of life support, or how long would I want to stay on life support?
- If medical procedures were available to save my life but would leave me unable to communicate or care for myself, would I want those procedures?
- Who would I want to take care of me?
- Who will care for my children?
- Who will take care of my home and my other assets?
- Will I need a conservator or legal guardian? What does this responsibility entail?
- Will my significant other or my parents be able to take care of me?
- What kind of resources do I have to help with my care (i.e., good health insurance, long-term care insurance, etc.)
After you compile the answers to these questions, you must figure out a plan of attack. While the likelihood that you will endure a tragic accident may be slim, it is still important to have a plan in place for possible disability. Let an experienced estate planning attorney help you. Here at Grunden Law Office, we deal with these issues on a daily basis, and we are dedicated to helping families plan for the worst so that they can focus on the best. Contact us today at 260-969-1177 to schedule a free consultation with the mention of this article.