Friday, February 28, 2014
Research shows that 70 to 80% of elders do not have advance directives giving instructions about end-of-life care. Here are six documents everyone should have in place:
- Medical power of attorney. This document allows you to appoint an agent to make medical decisions on your behalf if you become unable to do so.
- Living will. This document details which medical treatments you do and do not want undertaken if you become incapacitated.
- HIPAA form. This document gives people access to your private medical records.
- Financial power of attorney. This document, which goes into effect immediately after it is signed, gives someone the right to access all or a portion of your finances.
- Letter of instruction. Give your loved ones information about how to conduct your funeral services, whom to contact after you die, and whether you want to be buried or cremated.
- Last will and testament. Name your executor, appoint a guardian for your children, and determine who will receive your real estate, personalty, savings, investments, and digital assets.
See Kimberly Leonard, 6 Decisions to Make Before You Die, U.S. News, Feb. 26, 2013.