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End-of-Life Documents: What Are They and Do I Need Them?
What are these documents and why do you need them? Here’s a summary:
No. 1: Durable power of attorney. This appoints another person to transact business, legal and financial matters for you until you die.
Why do you need it? Lets say you are incapacitated by an accident or illness, it allows the person you’ve chosen to act for you—and quickly. That can help you avoid a lot of problems, including hard-to-get guardianship and conservatorship rights.
No. 2: Appoint a health-care representative. As with the first document, this allows someone to act on your behalf to make health-care decisions if you’re unable. It allows them to do such things as review health records, authorize admission to or discharge from a hospital and make decisions about life-sustaining medical procedures.
Why do you need it? You’ll have peace of mind knowing that your wishes will be fulfilled as you intended, especially when it comes to life-sustaining medical procedures. It also helps avoid family arguments about who should have the final say.
No. 3: A will or revocable living trust. This puts in writing who will inherit your assets when you die, and in what manner. These two documents can help eliminate, avoid or postpose taxes that are payable when you die. An attorney can help you decide which of these documents is better for you.
Why do you need these? If you do not have a will or a revocable living trust, basically the government will be able to decide how and to whom your assets are distributed, and it may not be to those you intended. These legal documents require the guidance of a qualified legal advisor to insure they meet the requirements of New York.
Relief the doubt, fear and stress for your loved ones after you have passed.
Contact our office to set up your checklist.