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Think estate planning is just for when you’re gone? Think again. Estate planning is as much about protecting yourself as it is protecting your family. When you’re alive but not well, who is in charge? Either you’ve appointed someone ahead of time, or the government will appoint someone for you.
You can appoint someone to make financial decisions through a Durable Power of Attorney, and medical decisions through an Advance Health Care Directive.
The Government’s Rules
If you don’t, don’t worry, the government has your back. They only require the person who is willing to step up to take care of you to first sue you. To do that they’ll probably need an attorney who will charge around $5,000, in addition to all the filing fees and other expenses, like the court investigator, and the attorney the court appoints to represent you, whose job is to make sure you really are incompetent. Who pays for all of this? You, of course. Now, all those procedures are there for a good reason. You don’t have to like the rules, but you do need to know what they are.
The Power of Attorney and Advance Health Care Directive are like blank checks. They can give authority, but they don’t really give any instructions. One of the biggest stress you can create for your kids is making them figure out what you would have wanted. That is the difference between documents and planning. At Estate Plan Pros we don’t just create documents, we create plans.