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Estate Planning – Not Only for End of Life

For us at Schluesche Fields S.C. it is just as important to make sure our client’s intentions are clear during their lifetime as after. So many of us put off planning for the future because it means “the end”. If only I had a dollar for every client that did not want to prepare an estate plan because they feared death! We hear these concerns so often as attorneys and must emphasize to clients that many estate planning documents are useful during your life.

Here are some of the lifetime estate planning documents and their purpose:

Health Care Powers of Attorney and Health Care Directives. These documents give directions to your appointed agents and medical providers of your health care wishes. COVID-19 complications have caused people of all ages to be on ventilators and possibly unable to voice their own wishes. It is important to have someone designated to express your intentions on your behalf. While these may be end of life decisions, it can also be for temporary emergencies as well.

HIPAA Waiver. This document, also known as “Authorization and Waiver for the Inspection and Disclosure of Information Relating to My Physical or Mental Health”, allows for appointed individuals to receive certain health care information including the status of treatment, appointments, medications, etc. This does not allow anyone to make decisions for you regarding treatment.

Durable Financial Powers of Attorney. This document appoints an agent to take financial actions on your behalf. This can be helpful if you are out of the country, not able to attend a real estate closing, or need assistance with writing checks for your monthly bills.

Each of the above estate planning documents are used during your lifetime. There are also other useful purposes for these lifetime estate planning documents. Now is not the time to wait to get these documents in place. Call 608-325-2500 to schedule a phone or Zoom consultation today.

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