As estate planning attorneys perhaps the most important thing we do for clients is help them face their own mortality and make decisions regarding end-of-life care. A recent article in the New York Times examined this topic. The article explained how decisions regarding end-of-life care can be emotionally (and politically) charged. We do clients a great service by helping them address these issues well in advance. We help them decide who they wish to make care decisions and by what guiding principles.
Often, it is tempting to think that the assistance we provide clients relating to the transmission and preservation of their wealth is the most important thing we do. But, when a client and their family are facing end-of-life decisions, having everything in order so they can focus on relationships and easing the transition, the true value of our help becomes clear.
The basic documents to have in place are an updated Financial Power of Attorney, both the Maryland statutory form and Supplemental Form allowing for gifting and Medicaid planning, a Health Care Power of Attorney, a Living Will, and a HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) Release Form.
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