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Do You Have An End of Life Care Plan?

In last week's blog post, we uncovered the power of establishing a will to leave a charitable legacy after one's lifetime. However, a conversation regarding wills and last testaments should also include how you want to receive care and who should make decisions for you should you lose your ability to advocate for yourself while living. That is why this week, we will discuss the power of establishing a living will and a POA.

Advance directives and living wills

Advance directives are legal documents that establish what type of care you wish and wish not to receive should you lose your ability to vocalize your decisions due to a variety of medical conditions, which include a coma, dementia, and more.

A living will is a type of advance directive that serves as a guiding document detailing your wishes for future medical care when you are legally incapacitated or unable to make decisions.

Generally, a living will is accompanied by other advance directives to ensure your wishes are respected while meeting legal requirements in the state where it is established.

Other common advance directives include Do-Not-Resuscitate (DNR) orders and Medical Powers of Attorney (POA).

Powers of Attorney 

A Power of Attorney (POA) document gives another individual the legal power to act on your behalf and to make decisions for you. POAs are a common legal document that allows a person to grant others varying degrees of assistance in helping them make decisions. 

POAs come in a variety of forms and can specifically be utilized to grant others the power to aid you while you are still able to make decisions or should you lose the ability to make them. Further, a POA can only pertain to financial decisions, known as a Financial POA, or to medical ones, known as a Medical POA.

Medical POAs generally become active once an individual is not able to make legally binding decisions for themself and entrust another individual that they trust to make these for them.

The power of directives

The power of advance directives is that they allow you to advocate for yourself once you lose the ability to do so while still living. Furthermore, they can create legally binding relationships governing who can make medical decisions on your behalf for things you could not plan for during the drafting process since you could not foresee them.

At Lundeen Abrams Advisors, we encourage and regularly refer our clients to trusted attorneys so that their wishes are respected should they no longer be able to advocate for themselves. If you are starting the retirement planning process, are already retired, or have growing responsibilities or dependents, establishing a living will and Medical POA is prudent. 

If you need help finding a local attorney in the Twin Cities area, please give us a call. We would be happy to learn more about your situation and connect you with one of our trusted associates. Have a great day!

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