Posted on April 28, 2021

Healthcare Issues: How Estate Planning Can Make Some Pain Go Away

Health-related milestones and medical issues cause a lot of stress and often force you to address your mortality. 

Whether it’s planned or unplanned surgery, diagnosis of a long-term medical issue or a traumatic medical event, there’s no way around worry and stress.

Pain from a medical problem can be compounded if there are life planning issues you haven’t addressed.  Things like:

  • What would happen to my assets and property if I pass away?
  • Who would help me if I become disabled and can’t make my own decisions?
  • Am I authorized to help my loved ones if something happens to them?

Reduce the stress and put your mind at ease knowing you’re prepared for whatever might happen. With the right documents in place, you can protect yourself and the people you love.

1] Who helps me if I become disabled and can’t make my own decisions?

There are a number of estate planning documents available that allow someone to step in and make decisions for you if you can’t make them for yourself. Documents like:

  • Power of Attorney: Allows you to appoint someone to manage your financial affairs.
  • Advance Directive with Health Care Proxy (aka, Living Will and a Medical Power of Attorney): You state what type of medical care you would or wouldn’t want if you couldn’t make decisions yourself; you appoint someone to make your medical decisions.
  • Revocable Living Trust: Your assets would be held in the trust; you would serve as trustee and be empowered to manage the trust assets for your benefit. If you become incapacitated, the alternate trustee you appointed would take over and manage trust assets for your continued benefit.

2] What happens to my assets if I pass away?

The estate planning tools listed below direct who gets your assets and how they receive them. You empower people you trust to manage your affairs when you’re gone and make sure your wishes are carried out.

  • Last Will and Testament: It needs to be current and must tie in with beneficiary designations and joint account owners.
  • Joint Account Owners: People who own your accounts with you.
  • Beneficiary Designation: People you designate to receive certain accounts or parts thereof.
  • Living Trusts: A trust allows you to provide for your loved ones, specifically who gets what and how they are to receive it.
  • More in-depth planning might be necessary: Complex assets like an interest in a business, patents, real estate or any number of other items require more robust planning to make sure your loved ones benefit from your life’s work.

3] Am I authorized to help my loved ones if something happens to them?

All this talk about health issues might get you thinking about the people you love. Do they have these estate planning tools in place? Are you authorized to step in and help if anything happens to them?

Just like you, they need to consider the issues and the estate planning tools they might need:

  • Power of Attorney: So you can manage their financial affairs.
  • Advance Directive with Health Care Proxy: So you can manage their medical affairs.
  • Last Will and Testament: Make sure it’s current and it ties in with any beneficiary designations and joint account owners.
  • Joint Account Owners: Make sure the right people are on their accounts with them and everyone understands the implications joint ownership has on assets in an estate.
  • Beneficiary Designation: Make sure they are current, and everyone understands the implications beneficiary designations have on assets in an estate.
  • Living Trusts: This might be an effective tool to make sure they are taken care of financially during their lifetime and then provide instructions for how their assets will be used and distributed to beneficiaries after they’re gone.

Planning for medical issues is quick, easy and painless. Once it’s done you can focus all of your attention on your medical care.

Contact us to plan effectively for medical issues and concerns and protect you and your family.

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Price & Price attorneys have received recognition from various groups and publications. Specific awards are noted on our attorney bios. More information about each of these awards and the methodology used for selection can be found on the following links. Super Lawyers and SJ Magazine 2017 Top Attorneys. No aspect of these accolades has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

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35 Kings Highway East #110
Haddonfield, NJ 08033
Phone: 856.429.5522