Kent Larsson writes about the proper use of wills, advance directives, trusts, and other estate planning tools, and how how they play a vital role in you receiving proper medical care and helping you to preserve and pass on your assets to your loved ones.
The mistakes may not be estate planning mistakes. However, they can have a big impact on your estate plan.
The idea of an estate plan is to have a plan to distribute your assets and handle taxes, court costs and attorney’s fees, without them having a major impact. While it is important to make these plans, it is also important to include the possibility of a high price tag for end-of-life care, according to Forbes in "The Biggest Estate Planning Mistake People Make."
Some end-of-life documents you should get from your estate planning attorney include:
• A Durable Power of Attorney -- With this document, you can appoint someone else to handle your financial responsibilities, if you are ever unable to do so due to incapacitation. This is important, if you want to make sure that your bills get paid on time, for example.
• A Health Care Power of Attorney -- This document lets you appoint someone else to make medical decisions for you, if you are unable to do so. When doctors need to know what decision to make about your care, this is the person they will ask.
• A Living Will -- This document allows you to give advanced directives to medical professionals about what procedures to give you or to withhold in the event you are incapacitated, terminally ill and unable to communicate your wishes.
Reference: Forbes (August 16, 2017) "The Biggest Estate Planning Mistake People Make."
Doctors and other health care workers are trained to save lives whenever possible, but that can get them in trouble when patients don’t agree.
Millions of people now have advanced medical directives. This can cause conflicts and problems for health care workers, according to The New York Times in "The Patients Were Saved, That's Why the Families Are Suing."
The problems start when the patients' advanced directives are not followed.
Health care workers, who are either unaware of the directives or uncertain about them, have been known to resuscitate patients who do not wish to be, for example. This had led some families to sue for saving the lives of their sick relatives, which is a new position for doctors to be in. The majority of suits normally come when they fail to save patients.
It leaves many doctors bewildered, since the Hippocratic Oath does not suggest that saving a patient's life is ever inappropriate. However, Americans deserve to have their advanced medical directives respected and followed.
Reference: New York Times (April 10, 2017) "The Patients Were Saved, That's Why the Families Are Suing."
Suggested Key Words: Advanced Medical Directive, Living Will, Health Care Power of Attorney