For many adults, estate planning is synonymous with creating testamentary documents. Wills and trusts are often the main focus of someone’s estate planning efforts. Their primary objective is to provide resources for a spouse, dependent family members or perhaps a charitable cause after they die.
However, a solid estate plan often also needs to include living documents. People can plan for future medical emergencies at the same time that they plan to leave a meaningful legacy after they die. Living documents are what protect someone from the secondary consequences of a personal emergency.
Powers of attorney
There are several kinds of powers of attorney that people may use. A financial power of attorney addresses control of someone’s resources and paying their obligations, like their mortgage or rent. A medical power of attorney designates an agent to make care decisions on someone’s behalf.
Anyone over the age of take 18 could potentially benefit from including powers of attorney in their estate plans in case they aren’t able to handle their own medical treatment or pay their financial obligations. If the power of attorney is durable, the document will retain its legal authority even if the person who created it ends up permanently incapacitated.
Advance medical directives
The state actually provides special forms that people can fill out addressing their unique medical preferences. From their thoughts on pain management and resuscitation to life support and anatomical gifts, there are many medical choices that could have deep personal significance for a testator.
An advance medical directive is where someone can outline their expectations for treatment when they cannot communicate on their own the half. They can even suggest care providers or specific facilities where they would prefer to receive treatment. The more unique someone’s preferences are, possibly due to health concerns or religion, the more important it becomes to have an advance directive in place advising others of their expectations and wishes.
Seeking legal guidance to add the right documentation to a Colorado estate plan, including living documents, can give people more protection regardless of what happens as their lives unfold.