Organizing the end of your life with an attorney can seem morbid, but it is the only way to make absolute sure that your requests are legally enforced once you are no longer able to make your own decisions. If you want to ensure that your home, assets, financial resources, care, and more are effectively managed in accordance with your specific wishes both while you’re alive and after your gone, then you need to figure out which end-of-life legal documents you need to have control over the end of your life. To help you out, here are a few end-of-life legal documents and a little bit about what they do.
For Your End-of-Life
An Advance Health Care Directive (AHCD) allows you to assign the power of making important medical decisions on your behalf to someone you trust, but only if you cannot relay your wishes yourself. This can be especially useful for families who are struggling in situations involving someone who is on life support. An AHCD can take the pressure off those you love by informing those in charge of your care exactly what your wishes are.
A Physicians Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) is not accepted in all states, but is basically an official doctor’s order that works similarly to the way a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) form does. It prevents the use of life-saving or life-prolonging treatments should you ever be diagnosed with a serious illness. A POLST will even prevent emergency responders from performing CPR.
A Durable Power of Attorney for Finances is a specialized legal document that allows a person, either someone you trust or a professional, of your choosing to have control over your bank accounts, assets, properties, and more for the purpose of paying off any bills or debts.
For After Your Passing
A Last Will and Testament, or Will for short, is a legally binding document that outlines your intentions for your possessions, specifically pertaining to the division of your assets to your family, friends, or other organizations. If you pass away and do not have a Will, your entire estate will be probated until the state can decide who will inherit what.
A Trust, also known as a Living Trust, is a legal entity that acts as a type of reserve to hold onto your assets up until after you die so that nothing has to go through probate. There are numerous types of trusts that all function differently for different circumstances including a Life Insurance Trust, a Generation Skipping Trust, a Bypass Trust, a Special Needs Trust, a Charitable Trust, a Revocable Trust, and an Irrevocable Trust.
Beneficiary Forms allow you to designate all of your financial assets as “payable on death” to someone you trust. This process is to avoid your financial assets going through probate and allow your chosen beneficiary to collect funds straightaway.
Final arrangements are your special requests for after your death that may include things like what you want to happen after you pass, whether or not you would like to be an organ donor, and more. Final arrangements can help you let those you love most know what it is that you want and need after you pass on, allowing them to grieve in peace. If you’re in need of a legal consultation, call Harris Law today at 231.347.4444 or fill out the free consultation form in the sidebar to schedule your free personal consultation.