While older adults may face end-of-life decisions, all adults should plan for the unexpected.
According to a Caring.com survey, 42% of Americans procrastinate on creating a last will and testament to handle their affairs upon passing. Knowing that life may change in an instant, naming a power of attorney and preparing advance health care directives should take a higher priority to assist you during your lifetime. These documents come with many benefits and should be discussed with an attorney.
1. Minimize family friction
Once difficult times arrive, it can also mean chaos, frustration and many other emotions for loved ones. No matter how well a family gets along, people often have differing views. Planning ahead ensures no big surprises arise, helping loved ones better cope with the situation and allowing them to honor your wishes.
2. Stay prepared for the unexpected
The unpredictability of life means that circumstances may change in seemingly an instant. Even if only faced with a short-term illness or situation which renders a person unable to manage their affairs, naming a power of attorney means having a trusted person or persons in charge of your financial affairs.
3. Protect family and assets
A power of attorney must follow the law and complete transactions as legally laid, always acting in your best interests. This helps ensure that assets stay protected either through Medicaid and/or tax planning strategies and grows in importance when a person faces long-term care. A misuse of power may come with stiff legal consequences.
4. Ensure wishes get met
While one hopes to live a long and healthy life, there can be a lot of unknowns. Every person should have the right to ensure protection for their long-term care and/or confirm that their end-of-life decisions happen the way they want. Without planning ahead, those personal wishes may get ignored.
Although a difficult topic, preparing for the what-ifs of life often takes a minimal amount of time when done right and can yield peace of mind to you and your loved ones.