Many people give more thought to their final wishes for when they pass away, their Estate Planning. However, it is also extremely important to plan for certain life events, incapacity, and end of life. This increases the likelihood that your wishes regarding medical care and child care will be followed as well as who should be making those decisions
Designated Healthcare Representative
When a person becomes incapacitated and are unable to make his or her own medical decisions, without a designated representative to make these decisions, there is a statutory list of who is the person that makes those decisions on your behalf. Often times, it goes to the spouse. This would be a situation, where their is one designated person. But what if you do not believe your spouse is able to make these decisions or follow your wishes due to their own emotional reasons? Or what if you are not married? What if you have more than one adult child? Or what if both of your parents are still alive but have conflicting views on your wishes or your wishes conflicts with their wishes? Or what if you have been involved in a long term monogamous relationship but are not married?
The best solution to these issues is to have a designated healthcare representative. You can choose, before you are incapacitated, who you want to make the decisions when you are unable to do so. You can choose the person that you believe will respect your wishes and will be able to make those difficult decisions. This can save conflict when there is more than one person who qualifies under Indiana Law. It also allows you to choose the person you trust regardless of that person's familial relationship. If you have not already established a healthcare representative, we can assist you with this, as well as the rest of your planning.
In addition to appointing a designated healthcare representative, it is also important to have a Living Will. The Living Will can be an important document assisting your healthcare representative with decision-making because you have laid out what your wishes are. It also supports your representative if their decisions are questioned by others, establishing what your own personal wishes are.
Your living will can state whether you want extraordinary measures to be used or if you do not. Whether you want to be necessitated or not. Whether you want artificial means of food and water provided or not. This information is extremely helpful for family, friends, and medical personnel. You can make these decisions well in advance to guide everyone to follow your wishes.
You never know when you may be faced with incapacity. The best time to put your plans together is today. Please contact our office to schedule a time to discuss your situation and- wishes today at 574-303-6578 or complete the contact form below.
Childcare Power of Attorney
Another life planning document that can be beneficial for many reasons, and not just end of life, is a Child care Power of Attorney. This document allows you to designate a third party who can make certain decisions regarding your children in your absence. This may be simply be a step-parent who is able to take them to the doctor's office or enroll them in school on your behalf. These can be used for military families when a parent is being deployed. These can also be in the event that you do become incapacitated and someone needs to be able to care for your children while you are unable to do so. These may also be limited in duration and scope or as unlimited as you choose.
Financial Power of Attorney
In addition to a medical power of attorney and childcare power of attorney, there is the more well known Financial Power of Attorney. Again, these can be used to allow another person to manage your finances on your behalf, to gain access to your financial information, etc. at any time or limited to a time when you are incapacitated. These may also be limited in scope based upon your wishes. Our office can advise you of your options.