Spring is the time people typically get out mops, buckets and dusters and start spring cleaning. But, most don’t take the time to do spring cleaning on their legal documents.
Applegate & Dillman Elder Law is encouraging our clients to go over what legal documents they have and which ones they may still need to ensure their wishes are followed as they age and that their families are taken care of. Having up-to-date documents will also make things easier for the people you love.
Spring is a great time to update your will’s beneficiaries, your Powers of Attorney and other important documents. Some of the documents you want to ensure are up-to-date include:
- Last Will and Testament
- Powers of Attorney
- Health Care Directives
- HIPAA Authorizations
- Revocable Living Trusts
- Irrevocable Asset Protection Trusts
Consultation with an attorney can help determine which documents you need and which you may not.
You may have retired, had children or grandchildren since your documents were drafted, gotten married, divorced, or started or sold a business. Any significant life changes could prompt document updates or the need for additional legal documents and planning.
The COVID-19 pandemic also highlighted for many families how quickly things can change. Two out of three, or 63 percent, of adult Americans have not completed an advance directive. Advance directives are the primary tools for individuals to communicate their wishes if they become incapacitated and are unable to make their own health care decisions, particularly near the end of life. Many families were caught off-guard during the pandemic when a loved one became incapacitated and it wasn’t clear who legally had the authority to make medical decisions on their behalf. Restrictions on visitors at health care facilities further complicated the situation. Take time this spring to update your Powers of Attorney, health care directives and will to ensure that doesn’t happen to your family.
It won’t take much time, and the peace of mind you gain from updating your legal documents and adding others you may need is worth it. To do a thorough review of your documents and any changes in your life with one of our attorneys, please contact us today.