The abundance of weight loss and health supplement ads that promise you can get results without changing your diet or exercise routine suggest the members of the Palmer & Slay team are not the only people who wish we could accomplish all of our New Year’s Resolutions without doing a whole lot of work.
Unfortunately, we have yet to find a way to get healthy or lose weight at the snap of your fingers. But there is one New Year’s resolution we know it is possible to outsource to others: creating or updating your estate plan. A quick call and a few meetings with Palmer & Slay’s experienced estate planning professionals is all it takes to start the year off right by crossing something important off your to-do list.
Estate Planning Might Be The Most Important Resolution You Ever Make
It’s a common misconception that estate planning is something you can (and perhaps should) put off until old age. The reality is having a well-crafted estate plan that you update as you age will serve you much better.
Modern estate plans include more than just a will. They typically appoint someone to make healthcare and/or financial decisions on your behalf if you are ever incapacitated, and give them some idea of what your wishes on these subjects are. If you have children, your estate plan is where you nominate someone to be their guardian in case the unthinkable happens. And knowing you have a plan in place can be a huge relief to your friends and family.
Decisions About Healthcare
The Palmer & Slay team encourages most of our estate planning clients in the Brandon, Mississippi area to execute a living will and grant a loved one power of attorney for healthcare when making their estate plans.
A living will is a document that outlines your wishes regarding medical care in case you are ever too ill to communicate those preferences yourself. Some of the scenarios addressed in a living will are:
- whether or not you would like life-prolonging medical care and what type of care you would like to be administered
- whether or not you would like to spend your last days at home, if possible
- whether or not you would like to be resuscitated using CPR
- whether or not you want your doctors to stop life support if you are in a vegetative state or irreversible coma
- what type of palliative care you’d like to receive to reduce your pain should you choose to forego life-prolonging treatments
- whether you’d like intravenous food and water
You can go into as much or as little detail as you want in this document. You then give a copy to your doctors to have on file, and provide whoever you would like to serve as your healthcare power of attorney a copy as well.
A healthcare power of attorney is a person you choose to make healthcare decisions on your behalf. They are guided by your living will, but have the ability to go beyond what it says in the document based on what they think you would want to happen in a particular situation.
Appointing A Guardian
If you have young children, you absolutely need an estate plan. You probably have an idea of who you would want to step in and raise your children if the worst came to pass, and you may have even talked with them about it, but that does not guarantee that the Mississippi probate judge overseeing your estate will appoint that person guardian. The only way you can control who your children’s guardian will be is by making an estate plan.
Easing Your Loved One’s Minds
They say one of the best ways to keep your resolutions is to have someone hold you accountable for them. Letting your loved ones know you are working on your estate plan, can be the push you need to call Palmer & Slay to set up your initial appointment.
Talking with your loved ones about your plans can also ease their minds. Letting them know that you have laid out your wishes, and discussing the various roles you hope people will be willing to play can go a long way toward giving everyone some peace of mind.
Preserving Your Wealth. Protecting Your Loved Ones.
Start the year off right by making a New Year’s Resolution you know you can keep. Contact Palmer & Slay to schedule a meeting with our experienced estate planning attorneys.