End of life issues

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Written By PeterLogan

Founded by a collective of barristers, solicitors, and academic legal experts, PreferLaw began as a conversation over how to bridge the gap between legal professionals and the lay public.





There is no simple way to begin discussing end-of-life issues. All emotions are normal. It’s normal to be worried about the future, as well as your family’s and friends’ futures. Acceptance and a determination to enjoy the rest of your days is also common. Different people react differently. However, there is one piece of advice that can be applied to everyone: It helps to be prepared.

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End of life matters are often addressed by the legal system. People who become disabled in old age are a major concern. It is still necessary to make healthcare decisions and to manage financial affairs. Proper planning can help with all of these important issues. This article will provide an overview of major end-of-life issues and how you can prepare.

Healthcare Decisions

Healthcare decisions can be a delicate topic. As they age, people may become less able to make decisions and communicate their thoughts to family members and doctors. While doctors may have their own opinions about the best way to proceed from a medical perspective, family members and friends might struggle to decide on the best course of action. You can prepare for these situations by planning ahead. These are some ways to prepare for healthcare-related end-of-life issues.

Prepare an Advance Health Care Directive

A Advance Health Care Directive, which is non-binding, outlines your healthcare wishes in the event of your death. Advance health care directives are used by many people to indicate what type of medical treatment they would like to receive, whether or not they prefer to be in a hospital, care facility, or other issues, such as organ donation and artificial live support. A health care directive is a written document that outlines your wishes and allows family members and doctors to refer to them later. Although it is relatively simple to prepare, it does not obligate anyone in cases where a doctor objects to your wishes.

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Prepare a Living Will

A living will, which is a legally binding document, serves the same purpose that an advanced health care directive. Your instructions for your care are contained in a living will. A DIY living will can be used to instruct doctors to withhold certain treatment, or to give them instructions to do everything possible to prolong their lives. Living wills are different from advance health care directives in that they are legally binding. This means your doctors must follow your wishes.

For healthcare, grant a power of attorney

It might be preferable to name someone to take care of your healthcare decisions. You can grant a power-of-attorney for healthcare to someone you trust to allow them to make your decisions. You can specify your wishes with a power of attorney for health care. This is similar to a living will or advance directive. This power of attorney is often used to grant decision-making authority to a friend or partner who is not married, and someone who would otherwise be unable to make these decisions.

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Financial Decisions

As you approach the end of your life, managing property and finances can be difficult. The bills, taxes, investments decisions, and business considerations continue to mount. Many people lose their ability to manage their affairs or lose sight of them when healthcare decisions are taken first. These issues can be dealt with if you prepare.

It is possible to give someone a durable power of attorney. In the event that you are unable to care for yourself, your designated person can manage your finances. They can pay your bills and taxes, manage your real property and investments, access financial records, purchase insurance, collect retirement benefits and pay for your health insurance.

A living trust may be an option. A trust is a pool of property that has been placed in it and it is managed by an appointed trustee. Trusts can be flexible. You can set the terms of the trust instrument, and designate the trustee.

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An attorney who specializes is estate planning law can help you to create an estate plan and set out your healthcare wishes.