Three Health Care Provisions Every Estate Plan Should Include

There is more to creating an estate plan than simply putting together a will or trust. In addition to ensuring that all of your money and property pass to your beneficiaries, you should be making health care provisions that indicate what treatments you do and do not want under certain conditions, allow family members to make decisions on your behalf, and enable someone to access funds to cover your medical care in the event that you are incapable of doing so yourself.

  1. Medical Power of Attorney

When you create a medical power of attorney, you are designating someone you trust to make important healthcare decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. The person you select should be someone who would recommend a course of medical treatment that you know you would approve of. It is also a good idea to name a secondary agent in case your first choice is unavailable at the time they are needed.

Any medical power of attorney creation should be accompanied by a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) release. Without one, your representative could be prevented from accessing your medical history, which would impede informed decision making.

  1. Living Will

Living wills allow you to go into detail about the types of medical treatment you do and do not want under certain circumstances if you’re unable to state those preferences yourself. For example, you may not want to have measures taken to prolong your life if there’s little hope of recovery. This could apply to terminal illness, brain death, and other extreme conditions.

  1. Revocable Living Trust

Revocable living trusts are the most common trusts in estate planning. As the name suggests, they are fully revocable at your request, so any assets they contain remain within your control. In the event that you are incapacitated, the trust can provide for an alternate trustee that you have selected in advance. Revocable trusts are excellent vehicles for health care planning, as the funds they contain can provide for your medical care in the event you become disabled.

For more information about estate plans that take health care directives and support into account, please contact Luis E. Barreto & Associates, P.A. today. We will walk you through the process and help you protect your future well-being, as well as preserve the integrity of your estate.

Luis E. Barreto