LegalJourney Blog

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Three End-of-Life Estate Plan Lessons

What are the top three concerns in planning your estate?

Barron’s recently published an article about three lesser-known aspects of estate planning that go beyond financial and tax matters. Without a doubt, money matters are important to plan out. However, without taking into account some critical health care issues, your careful estate planning could be all-for-not.

In addition to having a will and in many cases, one or more trusts set up to handle your assets once you pass, there are certain health care issues that should be addressed long before that time comes.  With that said, if you do not have at least a durable medical power of attorney, health care proxy and a living will in place, you could be doing yourself and your family a disservice.

Powers of Attorney

There are actually a number of powers of attorney that can be designated:

  1. Durable Power of Attorney – in the event that you become disabled or lose your capacity to make important decisions, a person you designate as your durable power of attorney will be able to step in and handle your affairs.
  2. Non-Durable Power of Attorney – a person designated as your non-durable power of attorney can actually make decisions and handle your affairs while you are alive and well. Many people use this designation when they are going on vacation for a long period of time or will otherwise be out of communication and unable to carry on daily matters at home.
  3. Health Care Proxy – designating a person as your health care proxy enables them to make health care decisions for you in the event that you are incapacitated.

In determining who you want as your designees, you will want someone who is strong and capable of handling complicated financial, legal and tax matters, as well as someone who is strong enough to make hard medical decisions for you, including taking you off of life support. Sometimes these qualities are not found in just one person, and it is often a wise choice to appoint more than one person for each duty.

Another key issue that cannot be under-emphasized is communication. While end of life planning is never easy, it is crucial that you discuss your wishes with your designees early and often, to make sure they understand exactly what your wishes are.

Living Will

Where a regular will discusses how you would like your assets allocated when you pass, a living will lays out how you want to be treated in the event you become incapacitated. In a living will, you are able to set forth what medical treatments you want if you become permanently unconscious or terminally ill. A living will provides peace of mind for both you and your family.

Are You Prepared?

If you have not prepared an estate plan, or need to update or augment your existing plan, there is no better time. The LegalJourney law firm can help you establish and update your estate plan to ensure your wishes are met in end of life matters. Contact us or give us a call today at 888-245-2919.


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Attorney Karnardo Garnett represents clients with their Estate Planning, Elder Law and Asset Protection needs throughout the Tampa Bay Area, serving all of the bay area, including but not limited to Tampa, Brandon, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Gibsonton, Riverview, Oldsmar, Safety Harbor, Hillsborough County, and Pinellas County, FL



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