Healthcare decisions in estate planning

On Behalf of | Sep 14, 2023 | Estate Planning |

A last will and testament is often the centerpiece of an estate plan. However, some might believe a revocable trust is preferable. Typically, an Alabama estate planner focuses on these things because they’re preoccupied with transferring assets to their beneficiaries. However, there can be more to estate planning than asset distribution matters. Health-related estate planning matters may require a review.

Health planning for estate planners

Predicting the future is impossible, but planning for it is not. People understand that they are subject to mortality, so they prepare for their estates in the event of their passing. Yet, these estate plans can be incomplete. Imagine if the estate planner becomes ill and suffers a mental decline before succumbing to an illness. Others may find themselves severely injured in an accident, which changes the quality of their life.

Regardless of someone’s mental and physical state, life’s responsibilities continue. Maintaining active insurance policies, paying taxes and fulfilling other obligations is essential. Granting power of attorney to a trusted person will prevent any neglect of responsibilities. Drawing up a POA document will be a significant part of estate planning.

Healthcare directive

Devising a healthcare proxy can also be beneficial. A healthcare proxy serves as a power of attorney for health-related matters as opposed to financial matters — the person named as the proxy will serve as the decision-maker for someone who is incapacitated. Someone in a coma after a severe car accident obviously cannot make decisions for themselves. An estate planning document that names an established healthcare proxy will put the preferred person into a position to make decisions.

A living will is another option for estate planners. With a living will, the planner puts their healthcare decisions in a document that informs others of their wishes and decisions in case they are incapacitated. Planners must understand these documents must be legal under state law to be valid.