Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Advance Health Care Directive or Living Will

A comprehensive estate plan contains several documents.  Each document accomplishes a different goal and every one works with the others to form a cohesive layer of protection for your assets and your intended beneficiaries.  An well-built estate plan applies your assets to their highest and most efficient use. 

In addition to a Trust and a Pourover Will, an Advance Health Care Directive is one of the key documents in your estate plan.

An Advance Health Care Directive appoints a person to make your health care decisions when you are unable to do so.  The person you appoint must be able to accomplish your medical goals pertaining to life support, organ donation and other personal preferences.  Additionally, your appointee must be able to manage your medical affairs to preserve your assets.  If not managed properly, medical bills can rapidly deplete your bank accounts, real estate and personal property.  Your appointee should have the fortitude to make speak with medical professionals, make difficult medical decisions and balance your personal preferences. 

A Living Will is an earlier and more specific version of an Advance Health Care Directive.  The Directive is the preferred and most modern estate plan tool used by most skilled legal practitioners. 

An estate plan must be dynamic and change with your lifestyle and preferences.  Review your plan today, including who will make your medical decisions and evaluate if it reflects your current goals. 

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