Do you keep putting off making your will or your estate plan in New York? Maybe you’re not concerned about it right now because it seems like such a distant future. Many people, for example, decide not to set up anything for future medical care because they figure that they’ll have plenty of time to do it later if they fall ill.
The reality, though, is that things can change unexpectedly. A sudden illness or an accident can mean that you no longer have the ability to do the legal paperwork that is needed. You are far better off to get all of this done well in advance. Make sure that you know exactly what paperwork you need; three examples are below.
Your Healthcare Power of Attorney
Essentially, this is a legal document saying who can make your healthcare decisions for you if you are not able to make them yourself. It’s incredibly important for situations such as a car accident that leaves you in a coma, for instance. Most people simply delegate a spouse, a close family member or even a friend.
Your Living Will
This document can lay out how you want things to go in specific situations. You may use it to ask for or reject specific treatments; these decisions can be hard for family members to make. For instance, perhaps you do not want the family to use life support to keep you alive if there is no hope of recovery.
A Traditional Will
Finally, if you do pass away, you need a will to set up your estate plan. Even if the will is very basic, just instructing people to split your assets up equally, it can help to keep the government from claiming your estate.
Source: AARP, “Legal Documents You Need Now” Oct. 21, 2014