Estate planning involves more than final wishes in the event of your death. It also prepares others for what should happen when there is permanent incapacitation.
Many documents are usually necessary to cover every potential issue. Work with an estate planning professional to create some or all of the following elements.
A Living Will
A standard will is for what happens with your assets after you die. A living will is about what sort of health care you wish to receive if you can no longer communicate. Include both in your estate planning documentation.
A Do Not Resuscitate Order
This document instructs doctors on what to do when you fall into a state of incapacitation. Also known as a DNR, these records assure a natural death. Writing one of these will prevent you from being in a coma for years without recourse. Be sure to provide copies to your doctor and hospital.
A Health Care Power of Attorney
You may wish for someone you love to have the right to make medical decisions on your behalf. This individual can get immediate powers or only after misfortune strikes. Make sure your medical team knows you have a health care surrogate in effect.
A HIPPA Release
You might want friends and relatives to have the freedom to discuss your condition. In the interest of privacy, standard medical guidelines forbid this from happening. These documents allow others to learn about your situation when you cannot speak to them.
Other documentation may be necessary. Have all the pieces in place before tragedy strikes. An estate planning professional can help assure nothing critical falls through the cracks.