The Benefits of Starting Your Estate Plan BEFORE a Health Crisis

When someone doesn’t already have an estate plan in place, a health crisis often motivates them to get an estate plan in place. While it’s always a good time to take this important step, here are five important reasons to get your estate plan in place before a health crisis strikes.

1. Peace of Mind for You
If you find yourself in the hospital, the last thing you need is extra worry. Instead, you need to focus on your health. When you have an estate plan in place, you have the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your finances and—if needed—healthcare decisions will be handled according to your wishes. So, you can focus all your energy on getting better.

2. Peace of Mind for Your Loved Ones
In addition, when you have your estate plan in place, you clear some of the obstacles for your loved ones so that they can focus their energy on caring for you. With a financial power of attorney in place, your regular financial obligations, as well as the new medical bills, can be managed by the proxy you’ve appointed in your financial durable power of attorney. If you’re unable to make care decisions for yourself, your living will provides decision-making guidance to the healthcare proxy you’ve appointed. This will relieve your loved ones of many of the difficult decisions that will have to be made on your behalf.

3. Avoid Court
Your intentions are clearly documented in a comprehensive estate plan. If you are incapacitated, the living will provides your guidance for healthcare decisions. And with your health care power of attorney, you’ve designated your healthcare decisionmaker. Without these documents in place, the court may become involved in your healthcare decision making.

4. Avoid Potential Challenges to Estate Plan
If you begin the estate planning process after a health care crisis and someone is unhappy with the outcome, they may challenge your mental capacity. Depending on the severity and type of health care crisis you had, the aggrieved person may make a challenge, arguing that you were not “of sound mind and sound body” when you created the estate plan.

5. Make Updates When Needed
Your estate plan can be updated. In fact, even once it’s in place, it should be regularly reviewed to be sure it still meets your goals. While an irrevocable trust does have restrictions on changes, you can make changes to a will and to a revocable trust. You can get your comprehensive estate plan in place now and make updates later if your circumstances change.

Work with a Florida Estate Planning Attorney
We’re here to help you with your comprehensive estate plan and we are here to help you adjust that plan if your circumstances have changed. Call our office today at 941-914-9145 to set up a meeting or fill out our contact form and we will be in touch to schedule a meeting.