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Tuesday, August 11, 2020

A Brief Introduction to End of Life Legal Planning

While being one of the most important aspects of your later stages in life, end of life legal planning is often the hardest to deal with. The issue is a mix of emotions, finance, and law – a combination that will bring anxiety to anyone. Nonetheless, being prepared for the unexpected, and eventually the expected, is exceptionally important. End of life legal planning can be split into two primary categories: healthcare and financial. 

 

Healthcare Planning

Everyone will have an opinion on what is the best medical decision to make should something happen to you. There are three primary healthcare documents that can ensure your intentions are known and carried out.

  1. Living Wil – A living will is a legal binding document that identifies your preferences and wishes with regard to healthcare services. It gives you a voice in the decision-making process should you become incapacitated. Your document provides which types of treatment you do and do not want, regarding end of life care. 
  2. Power of Attorney for Healthcare – a power of attorney for healthcare grants another person of your choice the authority to make healthcare decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. The power of attorney for healthcare can be used in conjunction with a living will, with certain decisions being binding under the living will and other decisions being left up to the person appointed in your power of attorney.

Financial Planning

In addition to the three above healthcare related documents, there are two finance-specific documents that should be considered.

  1. Durable Financial Power of Attorney – like the power of attorney for healthcare, the durable financial power of attorney allows you to grant another person the authority to act on your behalf. Here, the selected person can manage your finances to the extent you grant such power. Examples of management include filing your taxes, managing your real estate and other investments, buying insurance, and managing retirement benefits.
  2. Will – The document which allows you to direct to whom your assets go to upon your death. You can provide protections for your spouse, your children, and can create special needs trusts for children who would benefit with such a trust. You can also name the executor, the person who will handle your affairs when you pass away, and you can give them Independent powers which an save thousands of dollars for an estate.

These are the two primary categories when considering end of life planning, but there are many things to explore in all of them that an experienced estate planning attorney can assist you with in tailoring an estate plan for your families' needs. 

Chip LoCoco

Many & LoCoco

Attorneys at Law

504-483-2332


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The Attorneys of Many & LoCoco assist clients throughout parts of Southern Louisiana, including but not limited to New Orleans, Metairie, Mandeville, Convington, Gretna, Arabi, Marrero, Westwego, Harvey, Chalmette, Kenner, and the Parishes of Orleans, Jefferson, St. Tammany, and St. Bernard, LA.



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