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Estate planning is for you as well as them

Writing a will is a wonderful thing to do. It will save your heirs a ton of heartache and the confusion of having the state decide who gets what.

But apart from the satisfaction of doing a nice thing for your family, it doesn’t do that much for you. What three steps can you take that will benefit the person you are most responsible for – yourself?

Three "selfish" acts

  1. An Advanced Health Care Directive. This document, also known as a medical power of attorney, can save your life. It lets you name a person you trust to act as an agent for you, making medical decisions when you are unable to. The alternative: someone you did not handpick, and may not even trust, making these decisions. In some situations, the state may make these key decisions.
  2. A Living Will. A partner to the advanced health care directive, this document lays out, while you are of healthy body and of sound mine, how you wish to be treated in different medical situations. It allows you to declare life values, such as how important it is for you to able to care for yourself, how you feel about resuscitation even if your condition cannot be reversed.
  3. A Durable Power of Attorney. Just as you would want a trusted person to make healthcare decisions for you, you only want a trusted person to be able to spend your money and pay your bills. This document allows you to “manage” your finances even when you are incapacitated.

Once you have addressed these three “selfish” needs, you may find it easier to finally create that will. The people you care about most will be grateful.


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