When it comes to end of life issues, many people are in denial and do not consider their options and thus the medical profession may exercise extra ordinary measures to keep you alive. A person must exercise their legal right to their end of life issues while they are still able to do so.
Some issues have to do with a person’s health. For example, it may be helpful to execute an advance health care directive (living will) where one can state what type of medical care they want at the end of their life. This can include whether they want to be on life support, whether they would prefer to die in a hospital or hospice care center or whether they’d prefer in-home hospice care. This document will come into play once a person is no longer able to make decisions on their own. If a person wants to have a certain loved one make health care decisions on their behalf if they are incapacitated, the health care directive will appoint that party.
Other decisions have to do with a person’s finances. A person could reach a point where they can no longer make competent financial decisions. But, bills and taxes must be paid, investments need to be monitored and there may be other financial issues that need to be addressed. A person can execute a durable financial power of attorney. In this document, a person selects someone who will take care of their financial affairs should they become incapacitated. A living trust may also be a good option. The assets in a living trust are managed by a trustee, but the grantor can still set specifications when the trust is executed about how they want the assets in the trust handled.
These are only some documents to consider executing when it comes to end of life issues. Before making any decisions, it can help to have the assistance of an elder law attorney who can provide legal advice and ensure that any documents executed are legally sound.
Source: FindLaw.com, “End of Life Issues,” accessed on Feb. 19, 2018