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3 ways to address future medical needs in an estate plan

On Behalf of | Sep 19, 2023 | Estate Planning

The best California estate plans don’t just talk about someone’s property and the care of their dependents after their death. Comprehensive estate plans can also discuss someone’s healthcare and other support needs that may arise as a result of either a medical emergency or advanced age.

Some people, due to advanced age or unanticipated medical emergencies, end up incapable of meeting their own needs or even communicating their wishes to others. Proper consideration of future medical needs while estate planning can help someone more effectively protect their interests.

Thinking about long-term care

One of the most pressing issues as people age will be the need for daily support. Moving into a nursing home or having a skilled support professional come to someone’s home may be the only way of ensuring their safety later in life. However, obtaining those services can be very expensive. It can cost thousands of dollars a month for nursing support at someone’s home or a room in a nursing home. People need to very carefully plan if they hope to qualify for Medi-Cal benefits to cover their long-term care costs later in life.

Leaving instructions about preferences

Those who end up unconscious or experiencing diminished capacity due to dementia or a brain injury will not be able to enforce their personal preferences regarding their medical care. In fact, they may not even be able to effectively communicate them with their loved ones or healthcare providers. An advance healthcare directive is a very important document that can clearly state an individual’s preferences about choices ranging from life support to anatomical gifts.

Empowering a trusted agent

Those who have a spouse have someone they trust who will generally have the authority to make choices on their behalf. There are some people who remain unmarried for years and others who might experience incapacity at the same time as their spouse, possibly because of a car crash. Having powers of attorney in place will ensure that there is someone with the authority to act as an agent and make medical decisions on an individual’s day half. Power of attorney can also give someone the authority to handle financial matters during someone’s incapacitation.

Those who take the time to think about and address future medical needs can derive greater protection from their estate planning paperwork. Including plans for future healthcare needs along with testamentary documents in an estate plan is often a smart decision for those who are concerned about safeguarding their future interests.