Updated: Jan 1, 2020
New Year’s resolutions should include a simple punch list that every adult should have:
Power of Attorney (POA) for Health Care Decisions. If you are unable to make health care decisions, your designated agent will be able to make the decisions for you. Along with a POA, an authorization release, also known as HIPPA release, should be made to ensure the agent has access to necessary medical information from which to make informed health care decisions on your behalf.
Power of Attorney (POA) for Financial Decisions. Due to the same conditions that would require an agent to act on your behalf for health care decisions, you can designate the same individual or another to make financial decisions, such as paying bills, filing taxes, and selling or buying property.
Living Will. Document that directs medical providers as to your wishes regarding the use of life-sustaining procedures if your medical condition remained in a state of permanent unconsciousness or irreversible condition. Life-sustaining procedures are considered generally, as an aid to merely prolong the dying process. Instructions for withdrawal or denial of life-sustaining procedures may also include specific guidance as to food, hydration, and pain treatment. Instructions on organ donation can be incorporated in a living will or in a declaration for final disposition.
Declaration for Final Disposition. A document that designates someone who will make decisions concerning the final disposition of your remains upon your death. This document generally includes information related to: burial or cremation, any advanced contracts for funeral services or cemetery lots, and other instructions or wishes that may include instructions on organ donation (if not already addressed in a living will).
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