Managing your finances can be confusing for you and overwhelming for a loved one who may have to assist you. To prepare you should consider the following:
1. Ask your elder law attorney to draft an expanded comprehensive Durable Power of Attorney. This document will allow a person of your choice to act on your behalf to access your financial information, make financial decisions, sell your property, assist you to qualify for Medicaid and implement estate planning.
2. Keep your important documents together in a safe fire proof cabinet. Documents that should be kept in a safe place include your durable power of attorney, health care directives, Will, deed to your property, birth certificates, marriage certificate, spouse’s death certificate, and tax returns.
3. Keep at a list of all of your finances, as well as, at least three to five years of your financial statements in an organized file folder in a known location.
A doctor is required to honor your wishes, even if your wishes are against medical advice, but only if you have capacity to make decisions. In the event that you do not have the capacity to make your own health care decisions, a healthcare agent may make these decisions for you. To prepare for the possibility that a loved one may need to make healthcare decisions for you, you should consider the following:
1. Execute a Healthcare Proxy. A Healthcare Proxy is a document that appoints an agent of your choice to make medical decisions on your behalf, in the event that you are unable to make decisions for yourself.
2. Living Will. A Living Will sets forth your wishes in writing about life support and end of life decision-making.