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Planning, When You're Unable To

Utilizing a Living Will and Health Care Power of Attorney: For you, for your loved ones

Over five million Americans have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. And according to Alzheimer’s Association every sixty seven seconds someone in the U.S. develops the disease. Additionally, incapacity can take form in so many other ways, such as accident, stroke, and heart attack. These risks only increase the older we get. This begs the question, “what happens when I’m no longer able to make decisions for myself?”
The answer here really depends on you and how proactive you were prior to becoming incapacitated. If you find yourself either physically or mentally unable to make decisions on your affairs then you’ll need to be assigned a guardian. This guardian can be given responsibilities including control over your finances and even all your medical decisions (including life and death).
However there is an alternative, you can, essentially, remain in control of what happens both to your estate and your own personal affairs if you properly plan while still of able body and mind. A living will, health care power of attorney, HIPPA authorization and other trust documents can afford you the ability to layout your wishes and remove any guess work that your already stressed family members will have when difficult decisions need to be made. Instead of courts and family members trying their best to ‘do the right thing’ or determine that ‘this is what they would have wanted,’ you can leave detailed instructions and tools to empower those closest to you to follow your explicit wishes. In essence, when you add a living will, or health care power of attorney you are not only doing so for your own sake, but for the sake of your loved ones as well.
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