Estate planning in Arizona often focuses on crafting a will or a trust. These are obviously important, but there are other vital areas that can be covered through an estate plan.
Two of them are a living will and a durable health care power of attorney. Rather than focusing on one’s estate, these documents fall under the category of life care planning. They can make decisions in advance for times when a person cannot make them for themselves.
Knowing what these documents entail may require professional assistance. As with any part of estate planning, it is useful to have advice.
Living wills and a durable health care power of attorney can give peace of mind
A person who has a living will states what medical treatment they will have if they are suffering from a terminal illness or condition, or if they have become incapacitated.
The document states what the person wants – if they should be given life-extending treatment or not.
A power of attorney can go into even greater detail. By using a durable health care power of attorney, the person – known as the principal – designates an agent. That agent will make the decisions in the principal’s stead.
People who decide on how to proceed without a durable health care power of attorney are known as surrogates. These may include a spouse, an adult child, a consensus of adult children, a parent, a domestic partner, a sibling or a close friend. Health care providers might also be able to make decisions on the person’s behalf if no surrogate can be located.
Comprehensive help is imperative with these sensitive documents
For estate planning, it is important to be fully aware of all the facets to have a comprehensive document and prepare for the future. Part of that is considering life care planning like a living will and a durable health care power of attorney.
It is easy to get confused with these documents and make avoidable mistakes that cause problems if a person is unable to communicate their desires and it is left to interpretation of their estate planning documents. It can be burdensome to leave these issues to loved ones who are unprepared for the responsibility, so it is essential to select trustworthy people who can deal with the stress.