It is never a pleasant conversation to have, but it is crucial to take care of all the necessary paperwork in case of an unfortunate incident. There comes a point when creating a will, assigning a Power of Attorney, and organizing medical affairs must be addressed. This is especially true if you or your loved one has been stricken with a recent illness, or health or mental condition. When a person dies, there is a lot to take care of, like arranging the funeral and dealing with the estate. Don’t leave a mess for your loved ones to sort out for you. Make sure everything is in order while you still can, that way you also have a say in what happens.
Assigning a Power of Attorney
It is imperative to assign a trusted family member or close friend Power of Attorney over your property as well as your health care, so a credible and reliable individual can make decisions regarding these matters when you are no longer able to.
For the property side of it, a legal document will be created that gives your chosen representative the power to make decisions regarding your assets and property. This is done to make sure your wishes are carried out just as you have stipulated.
As well as having a Power of Attorney for property, you should also have one for healthcare. This can be the same person or someone else entirely. This representative will be making decisions regarding any health-related matters like diet, home care, safety, living conditions, etc.
Creating a Will
There are two types of wills you should be creating for yourself, a Legal Will and a Living Will.
A Legal Will allows your property and assets to be divided and distributed as you have designated. If you do not have a legal will in place, it can cause serious problems for your family members. Your assets may get passed along to the wrong person, and your children will most likely have to post a bond to receive anything. It is a good idea to enlist the assistance of a lawyer to help draw it up for you.
A Living Will, as you might have guessed, takes care of all your health decisions. If you are no longer able to communicate your wishes, a Living Will can be very helpful in making difficult decisions your family members likely do not want to be responsible for.
Keeping up to Date
There are a number of documents and files that should be kept current at all times.
- Bank Info – Make sure your banking information is up to date and your Power of Attorney has the ability to access it
- Mortgages and Loans – Make sure your debts are accounted for
- Insurance Policies – Make sure your life insurance is accessible and provide details on how to handle any car or house insurance that is no longer needed
- Investments – It is a good idea to include these in your will
- List of Assets – Keep this list up to date and include and necessary ownership documents
- Pension – In some instances a pension can be passed on to a family member
- Will – Keep the conditions of your will up to date. If you need to make revisions, do so legally with a lawyer present