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How to Handle a Serious Unexpected Illness

March 31, 2021

If you’re a fan of the HBO series Succession, then you know that a serious and unexpected illness that leaves you incapacitated can spell big trouble for your family, particularly if you’re a high net worth individual. While you may think your estate plan is enough to cover what might happen after you’re gone, creating a crisis plan is also important if you wish to ensure that your family is well taken care of in any event. A Branson elder lawyer with experience handling elder crisis plans can point you in the right direction.

Serious illness in a senior citizen can happen without warning – one minute you’re in perfect health, and the next you’re facing a life-threatening condition. When it gets to that point, it’s almost impossible to make sound decisions, and even harder to guarantee that your wishes would be held up in court. 

Taking the time to review your estate plan and pertinent legal documents with an attorney is a solid approach to avoiding issues down the line.

Planning for Incapacity

A critical illness could leave you incapacitated – and you will need to have someone making decisions on your behalf. You wouldn’t want just anyone determining how to navigate your future and your finances. As such, it’s important to review several key components of your plan with a Branson elder lawyer. These include:

  • Medical power of attorney: This would allow you to assign someone you trust to make medical decisions on your behalf. 
  • Financial power of attorney: Gives an agent the ability to pay your bills, sell assets, and handle debts, and deal with any other financial issues that may come your way.
  • Advanced healthcare directives or living will: This provision would outline what to do when your life needs to be preserved artificially. For example, if you are on a ventilator and not able to breathe on your own, this provision would outline what your wishes are.
  • HIPPA authorization: This allows your family to access your personal and private medical records so they can make decisions on your behalf.

If you were to lose consciousness before these documents can be signed, you would not have any control over who would be in charge of what when it relates to your health and your money. That’s why it’s important to get started on these documents as soon as possible.

Work with a Branson Elder Lawyer on Crafting an Estate Plan

Beyond creating documents that provide for what would happen in a medical emergency, you should work with a Branson elder lawyer to additionally create a will or trust and have a solid estate plan in place. Your attorney can design strategies that minimize tax obligations and ensure everyone you care about is well taken care of well beyond your passing. Contact our offices today.