While optimism is important in a time such as this, thinking proactively about how to protect your assets, especially those devoted to a will or trust, is as crucial as ever in ensuring the long-term security of your family. Even if you already have a will or trust established, there are a couple of boxes that you should check in anticipation of a worst-case scenario.
The first step you will want to take is to establish a Durable Power of Attorney. Since this step is not necessary to the creation of a living will, its significance can sometimes be overlooked, but it certainly isn’t to be brushed aside. A Durable Power of Attorney is a safeguard against those things that can’t be predicted, and COVID-19 has certainly shown us just how prone our lives are to change on a dime. Appointing a Durable Power of Attorney means proactively assigning your agency to another person in the case that you are in some way incapacitated or unable to make decisions about your own healthcare – it means you get to decide definitively who gets to speak for you when you cannot speak for yourself. This is an important step in preventing unnecessary frustration should you lose your ability to make decisions while there are still decisions left to be made.
Another safeguard to consider is the creation of an advance directive, a document that dictates the decisions that caregivers should make regarding your healthcare when you’re incapacitated. You will want to make sure that your physician has a copy of this document, and you might even consider keeping a copy on you when traveling.
Remember, healthcare can be expensive. Taking these simple steps can aid immensely in making sure that you get the healthcare is best for you and that your assets are handled as instructed.