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Key Estate Planning Documents That Are Often Overlooked

Posted on in Estate Planning

DuPage County estate planning attorneysWhen one thinks of estate planning, the main legal tool that most often comes to mind is the last will and testament. Of course, having a will in place is tremendously important. Not only does a will give you the peace of mind that your possessions and property will end up in the right hands after your death, it also helps your loved ones wrap up your estate much more quickly and efficiently than would otherwise be possible. Even though wills are vital, they are not the only estate planning documents we should be concerned about. As you plan for your future, make sure not to overlook these other important legal and financial implements. 

Advance Health Care Directive

An advance health care directive is a plan that is made ahead of time in regard to a person’s health care. Illinois law allows citizens to create four different types of advance directives: a medical power of attorney; a living will; mental health treatment preference declaration; and a Do-Not-Resuscitate (DNR)/Practitioner Orders For Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST). Depending on your circumstances, you may wish to use more than one of these types of documents to plan for your future.

Health Care Power of Attorney

A medical power of attorney is sometimes called a power of attorney for health care. This estate planning document allows you to select a representative who will make healthcare decisions on your behalf should you be unable to do so. For example, if an illness leaves you unable to make choices about what treatment plan you wish to pursue, the representative named in your advanced healthcare directive will make the choice based on what he or she thinks you would want. 

A Living Will 

A living will specifies which medical procedures or treatment you want doctors to carry out if you become terminally ill as well as what actions or procedures you do not wish doctors to pursue. A terminal condition refers to an incurable condition which cannot be reversed. A living will allows you to direct health care providers regarding death-delaying procedures. A legal health care agent can make sure these desires are carried out if and when the time comes.

Do-Not-Resuscitate or Practitioner Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment

A do-not-resuscitate (DNR) order is combined with a document called practitioner orders for life-sustaining treatment (POLST) in Illinois. A DNR/POLST Order is one type of advanced health care directive that disallows doctors from using cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if your heart or breathing stops. This document can also be used to designate your wishes regarding life-prolonging treatment.

Lombard, Illinois Wills and Estate Planning Lawyers

For help drafting estate planning documents or to get guidance about which estate planning tools are right for you, contact an experienced Lombard estate planning attorney. Call A. Traub & Associates at 630-426-0196 today to schedule a confidential consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2017/08/16/the-biggest-estate-planning-mistake-people-make/

http://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/health-care-regulation/nursing-homes/advance-directives

Illinois State Bar Association DuPage County Bar Association Northwest Suburban Bar Association American Inns of Court DuPage Association of Woman Lawyers National Association of Woman Business Owners Illinois Association Criminal Defense Lawyers DuPage County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
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