13 Oct Off
A Last Will and Testament is a critical legal document that allows you to accomplish a number of important goals. You can name your beneficiaries and specify the assets you want them to receive, name a guardian for your minor children, and choose the person you want to settle your estate (known as the Executor).
In short, a Will helps ensure your wishes are carried out after you pass away. However, in the event you become incapacitated in your lifetime it does not ensure that your wishes regarding your finances and medical care will be followed. For that you will need other essential documents:
Power of Attorney for Health Care
A Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care is a document that allows you to name a person you trust to make health care decisions on your behalf if you are no longer able to make them on your own. Medical decisions covered by your Power of Attorney for Health Care can include a choice of doctors and other health care providers, types of treatment, long-term care facilities, end-of-life decisions such as the use of feeding tubes, and do-not-resuscitate orders.
Power of Attorney for Finances
Similar in concept to the Power of Attorney for Health Care, a Financial Power of Attorney for Finances allows you to designate an agent to make decisions about your finances, such as income, assets, and investments when you can longer make them yourself. By selecting your decision-makers in advance through powers of attorney, you and your loved ones can avoid the expense, stress, and delays associated with a court-ordered guardianship proceeding. Additionally, these documents put you in control of determining your agents, rather than leaving that decision to the courts.
A Living Will allows you to express your wishes regarding what medical treatments you want, or do not want, in an end-of-life situation. A Living Will differs from a Power of Attorney for Health Care in that it details your specific wishes, whereas a Power of Attorney for Health Care allows your trusted agent to make health care decisions for you. Another benefit of creating a Living Will is that it spares your loved ones from having to make difficult decisions about your care alone.
To learn more about estate planning in Wisconsin, we encourage you to set up a free consultation with one of our attorneys at the Elder Law Center of Wisconsin. For more information, please call (262) 812-6262.
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