It is impossible to predict the future or know what will happen to you and your California family in the months or years ahead. However, there are certain steps you can take to secure your interests and give you and your family peace of mind. One of these things is having a strong and thoughtful estate plan in place.
Estate planning needs differ on a case-by-case basis. What you need to include in yours depends on your goals, specific needs and other objectives you may have. Some information you may benefit from including in your plan relates to advance directions and health care planning measures. Not only does this offer you security, it provides security for your family as well.
What are advance directives?
Advance directives are estate planning documents that allow you to outline your wishes for medical care and health-related matters in case you cannot speak for yourself. When drafted correctly, they are legally valid and enforceable, and it provides you a way to decide what will happen to your body and your medical care in certain emergency situations.
In most cases, advance directives include documents that allow you to decide your health care as well as name a person to act on your behalf in case you cannot act or speak for yourself. Some of these documents include:
- Health care power of attorney: By drafting a health care power of attorney, you can identify a person to deal with your medical care in case you find yourself incapacitated.
- Living will: A living will allows you to identify the type of care you want or treatments you do not want in case you are seriously ill or injured. This makes it easier for your family and means they do not have to make difficult or impossible decisions on your behalf.
If you do not have advance directives as part of your estate plan, you would be wise not to delay in adding these documents.
A complete plan suited for your needs
Your estate plan should suit your needs, and if you have strong feelings about the type of health care you want to receive, you would be wise to include these specific documents in your plan.
By starting with a complete evaluation of your case, you can better understand your estate planning options and how you can secure your future interests by drafting advance directives and health care plans.