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An estate plan is more than who gets what when you die

When you create your estate plan, there are several things that you have to think about. Most people think that the estate plan is simply noting who will get what in a way that is unmistakable and in accordance with state laws. This isn't the case. You also have to think about your living will and power of attorney for health care. This document can have a significant impact on you and your final days, so you must be very careful with how you handle it.

First, you need to think about who is responsible enough and knows your wishes enough to be able to serve as your power attorney for health care. This person is responsible for making choices about your medical care when you become unable to make those decisions on your own.

Second, you need to write out your living will. This document should include information about what you want to happen when your health declines to the point that you aren't able to make those decisions. You should discuss if you want to be resuscitated. You also need to cover points such as what type of support you want to receive. Would you like to be placed on full life support if the need arises or would you rather just get medications to help you remain comfortable? Do you want intravenous nutrition or would want to just be left without anything?

Even though these points aren't pleasant to think about, they are some of the decisions that you can make while you are able so that your loved ones aren't left trying to guess your wishes when you can't convey them any longer. Be sure that you handle these points in a concise manner that your loved ones can fully understand.

Source: FindLaw, "Power of Attorney for Healthcare and Living Wills," accessed Dec. 08, 2016

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