IS IT IMPORTANT TO EXECUTE AN ADVANCE HEALTH CARE DIRECTIVE?
Clearly there is a financial component that lies at the core of your estate planning efforts, but this is not the only thing to take into consideration. If you want to be comprehensively prepared for the future it is important to consider all of the eventualities that go along with aging. People who reach an advanced age often decline gradually, and this can sometimes include a period of incapacitation.
If you were to fall into an irreversible terminal state with no hope of recovery it is possible that you could be kept alive via the use of artificial life support systems for an extended period of time. Different people have different opinions about whether or not they would like to live indefinitely in this condition or allow nature to take its course without the assistance of artificial means.
The way that you assert your own personal choice regarding this matter is to execute a document called a living will. If you fail to do this your next of kin will be asked to make the decision should such a choice become necessary. Of course this is an excruciating position to be placed in and there could be disagreements among family members. Through the execution of a living will you make your wishes known and there can be no uncertainty or acrimony among family members.
The other advance directive that is highly recommended is the durable power of attorney for health care. With this document you name an attorney-in-fact who is empowered to make medical decisions in your behalf should you become unable to do so.
These instruments are an important part of any holistic plan for aging. If you do not currently have advance directives in place, right now would be a good time to take action and arrange for a consultation with an experienced Redlands estate planning attorney.