How Estate Planning Can Help You If You Get Sick

When thinking of estate planning, most people think of making arrangements for what will happen to their assets after they pass away. This is definitely part of it, but the truth is, it doesn’t even come close to capturing the full scope of estate planning. A huge part of estate planning that most people don’t even consider is that it allows you to make arrangements for what will happen if you ever get seriously sick. 

Who would oversee your finances if you were ill in the hospital and couldn’t tend to it yourself? Who would make your medical decisions if you were in a coma or otherwise unconscious, or if you could not express your wishes because you developed Alzheimer’s or dementia? Would you want to be kept alive by machines if you had no hope of living a normal life again? 

These are all questions you can answer through estate planning. Let’s take a look at some of the tools you might use:

Powers of attorney (POA): A POA is a document through which you can grant someone you trust authority over making certain decisions on your behalf. There are general powers of attorney, which give the person power over financial matters, and health care powers of attorney which gives them power over medical matters. A POA will need to be “durable” if you want it to be used in case of incapacitation.

Living will: These are also referred to as advance healthcare directives. They give you the opportunity to express which types of medical treatment you do or do not want to have administered.

DNR Orders: DNR orders are a specific addition you can make to a living will. DNR stands for “do not resuscitate.” This means that if your heart stops beating, you don’t want doctors to restart it with CPR or electric shocks. 

Contact a New York Estate Planning Attorney

Having a plan that you can implement if you ever get sick has been made more important than ever by the COVID-19 pandemic. Don’t leave your loved ones to make difficult decisions about your medical care if you are unconscious. Leave a clear record of your intentions and desires. The team at Drucker & Mattia PLLC can help. Contact us today to learn more about our estate planning services and how a good estate plan can help you if you get sick.

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