Have You Executed Your Advance Directives?
Estate planning is typically thought of as a purely financial endeavor, and it is true that
preparation of assets for eventual distribution to your loved ones after your passing is
central to the exercise. However, there are some other things to consider as well if you
want to be completely prepared for all the eventualities that may befall you One of these
is the possibility of being physically unable to communicate your wishes regarding
medical matters, and from a legal perspective this is addressed through the execution of
advance health care directives.
There are two advance health care directives that are widely recommended by estate
planning attorneys. The first one we will highlight is the living will. Living wills are
used to state your wishes regarding the types of medical procedures you would be
willing to accept or deny if you were incapacitated and unable to communicate. The
issue that is at the root of these documents is generally going to be whether or not you
approve of the use of life-support systems to keep you alive if you were in a terminal
With the durable medical power of attorney, which is sometimes called a health care
proxy, you appoint someone to act as your attorney-in-fact who is empowered to make
medical decisions for you should you become unable to do so for yourself. This
document is a useful addition because all possible medical scenarios are probably not
going to be addressed when you create the living will. You would presumably discuss
your medical preferences with your attorney-in-fact while you're still in good health so
that he or she knows your general viewpoint should you become incapacitated at some
point in the future.
You never know what the future holds, and even younger people sometimes become
incapacitated due to accidents or serious illnesses. If you do not have your advance
directives in place, you would do well to arrange for an appointment with an estate
planning attorney so that you can execute these important documents and cover all of
your bases going forward.
Experienced estate planning attorneys St. Louis MO of the Purcell & Amen LLC offers
estate planning and business planning resources to residents of St. Louis MO. To learn
more about these free resources, please visit www.yourestatematters.com today.