End-Of-Life Documents: What Are They And Why Do You Need Them?

Posted on: 27 July 2016

There are three different types of end-of-life documents, and each one has uses and benefits you should be aware of. In fact, anyone who wants more control over his/her end-of-life affairs will find these documents useful.

The Advance Health Care Direction (AHCD)

The AHCD gives one person the power to make decisions over your health care if it ever comes to the point where you can't speak or make decisions yourself. This is also known as the Living Will and Durable Power of Attorney (for health and medical decisions). It may also be referred to as the Health Care Proxy. Whatever name it is given, it will do the same job.

Your family won't need to make tough decisions between them. They will get the chance to grieve instead, and you know your wishes will be followed. The most common decisions made through Living Wills are those on ventilators and feeding tubes, anything to do with pain management, and decisions over organ donation.

There are different forms for each state. Anyone 18 years or older needs to have one, just in case you get to the point where you can't make decisions for yourself. There's no need to worry about decisions changing. You can make changes at any point.

Durable Power of Attorney for Finances

There are times that you will need someone you can trust to access your finances and make decisions for you. It could be as simple as paying your bills while you're not in a fit state to do anything. This power of attorney will have control over all financial matters, and there are professionals available if you don't have anyone in your life who can do it all for you.

You will need to complete this document when you are competent. This is something you can change at a later date if you need to. You'll need to make the decision, or a judge will appoint someone instead. This will be someone to take care of your care needs, as well as finances.

Revocable Living Trust or Will

The will is the most common type of end of life document created by people. It dictates who will inherit assets after your death. You can also use wills to postpone and avoid taxes after your death! You need to have a will, even if you don't think you have any assets. You can include your savings, the belongings in your home and any investments you've made.

If you don't create a will, your closest living relative will get your assets, whether that is a current living spouse (even one you've separated from and not legally divorced), your children or a long-lost cousin you've never met.

Getting your affairs in order now is one of the best decisions you can make. Create the above end-of-life documents with the help of a law office like Seiler & Parker PC, and you'll make sure things go the way you want when it comes to a time that you can't physically make the decisions.