Senior couple looking over estate planning documentsI hope all of my readers continue to be well.

I want to thank everyone for your responses to the email blasts I’ve sent over the past two months in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Your comments been quite encouraging and it’s nice to know that what I have been writing has been helpful to you.

Based upon your positive feedback, and because I find writing these posts enjoyable, I thought I would continue writing.

Because of the current pandemic, we’re being forced to confront our mortality, aren’t we?  I know that when my clients come in, I dump a ton of information on them and that sometimes it’s hard for people to absorb it all.  So, I thought I would do a series of brief explanations of what each document in a typical estate plan is designed to accomplish.

I’ll start with the advance health care directive (called a living will in many other states).  This is the document by which you designate the people who will make healthcare decisions for you if you are not able to do it yourself.  You can also leave instructions for end-of-life decisions (do you want the DNR to go into effect?) and for your “final arrangements” (that is, instructions about donating your organs and disposition of your remains).

What happens if you don’t have an advance directive?  If you become ill and can’t make your own healthcare decisions, no one will have the legal authority to make them for you.  No one will know what your end-of-life wishes are.  As you can imagine, this can create immense conflict and angst among your family members and healthcare providers, as well as unnecessary pain for you.

If you are stressing about any of this, or know someone else who is, I’d be happy to communicate with you or them by phone, email or Zoom.

I hope this is helpful.  Please take care and stay safe.

Very truly yours,

Jan Copley

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