Minnesota Healthcare Power-of-Attorney
Estate planning should be about more than just talking about money issues with your loved ones, it should also be about family health-care issues.
Although talking about money in estate planning situations is certainly important, many people often do not think about the necessity of having good health-care planning.
As a Minnesota estate planning attorney, I am often asked to “draft a Will or Trust” for someone. However, when I begin talking about further health care related issues, my clients often seem surprised that my initial discussion focuses more on health-care-planning than the actual Will or Trust.
For instance, common documents that I provide to all of my estate planning clients are Durable-Power-of-Attorney and Health-Care-Power-of-Attorney.
- The Durable-Power-of-Attorney
The Durable-Power-of-Attorney is a document where someone grants another person the right to make financial decisions on their behalf if that person is somehow incapacitated. The term “incapacitated” means that a person can no longer make financial decisions because they are not mentally or physically able to do so.
The Durable-Power-of-Attorney allows a person to serve as the financial “care-taker” for their loved one.
- The Health-Care-Power-of-Attorney
The same logic follows for a Health-Care-Power-of-Attorney. This document allows medical care providers to see that someone other than you has the power to make serious health-care decisions on your behalf. As you can easily imagine, there are many health-care decisions that need to take place immediately and if you are incapacitated for some reason, the doctors or other medical care providers need someone to make quick decisions.
Many people who ask me to do estate planning for them do not often discuss the Power-of-Attorney documents. I suspect this is because they simply had not thought about it before. Also, they probably didn’t discuss these issues with their spouse, children, parents, or other loved ones.
Broaching the end-of-life discussion is not easy. It simply isn’t something that most people bring up in every-day conversation. One easy way to get the conversation started is to focus not on money but, instead, on health care decisions that will need to be made by someone on behalf of their incapacitated loved one.
Having an estate planning conversation while your loved one is healthy is also very important. Too often I speak with clients who have had no experience in estate planning and their parent, sibling, or spouse are now facing a major health situation. Making health-care and other financial decisions while a loved one is hurt or in the hospital is very difficult.
Finding a common ground is important. You should be able to broach an estate planning topic in a happy setting. Furthermore, letting fear or denial stop you from conducting estate planning is never a wise decision. Unfortunately, death is a part of life and denying that will only create difficult health-care and financial hardships for you and your loved ones.
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Contact the Flanders Law Firm today. The firm offers free consultations to all potential clients. Call (612) 424-0398.