What To Do In The Absence Of An Estate Plan.
A Discussion With Elder Law Attorneys Shannon Miller and Genna Fasullo LaPeer and Senior Living Expert Star Bradbury.
Life is full of uncertainties, and often, the unexpected can catch us off guard. Imagine a senior who experiences a heart attack and is hospitalized, facing not only health challenges but also the absence of any estate planning. In such a situation, the individual and their family may find themselves in a complex legal landscape, unsure of the next steps to take. This is when crisis estate planning begins.
Let’s explore the crucial actions they should consider from a legal standpoint.
Seek Legal Advice From An Experienced Elder Law Attorney
1.The first step for the senior and his family is to consult with an experienced elder law attorney who specializes in crisis estate planning and health care advocacy. The attorney will help them understand the legal implications, rights, and responsibilities associated with the absence of an estate plan.
2.Durable Power of Attorney: A durable power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that grants someone else the authority to make financial and legal decisions on behalf of an individual if he becomes incapacitated. This document ensures that someone trusted by the elderly man, such as a family member or close friend, can manage his financial affairs, pay bills, handle investments, and make important decisions if he is unable to do so himself. Without a durable power of attorney, the family may face significant challenges and delays in managing the individual’s financial matters.
3.Designation of Health Care Surrogate: A designation of health care surrogate is another critical document that allows an individual to appoint someone to make medical decisions on their behalf if they are unable to do so. In the case of the elderly man’s heart attack, having a designated health care surrogate would provide clarity and guidance to medical professionals regarding his treatment preferences and end-of-life care. This person, typically a family member or close friend, can advocate for his wishes, ensuring that his medical decisions align with his values and beliefs.
4.Avoiding Court Intervention: By having a durable power of attorney and a designation of health care surrogate in place, the senior can avoid court intervention in the event of incapacitation. Without these documents, the family may need to go through a time-consuming and expensive guardianship process, where the court appoints someone to act on behalf of the incapacitated person. This process can be emotionally draining and may result in decisions that do not align with the individual’s wishes.
5.Peace of Mind and Family Unity: The importance of durable power of attorney and designation of a health care surrogate extends beyond the legal aspects. These documents provide peace of mind to both the senior and family members. Knowing that there is a trusted person designated to make decisions on their behalf can alleviate stress during difficult times including crisis estate planning situations.
6.Health Care Advocacy Simply put, the goal of a good health care advocate or elder care coordinator is to provide you (or your aging parent) with the highest quality of life possible while taking the stress off of you. Here are the job duties of an elder care coordinator:
- Identifying your primary needs-We will then know what concerns to best focus on.
- Coordinating with current medical providers
- Finding the right senior care community or home health aide
- Monitoring your ongoing treatments and condition
Your Best Choice For Crisis Estate Planning
If you and your family find yourself in a similar situation, please give us a call so we can guide your through crisis estate planning, Here is how to connect with our elder law firm.
Connect with The Miller Elder Law Firm: 352.379.1900
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The Miller Elder Law Firm, the leading elder law firm in Gainesville FL, brings comfort and confidence to the aging process through estate planning, wills and trusts, probate and Trust Administration, medicaid planning, guardianships, Elder Care Coordination & Life Care Planning. The firm is located in Gainesville, Florida and serves the surrounding counties.
The Miller Elder Law Firm team strives to provide every client with a bright retirement and end of life that is as full as possible. You deserve to be heard, protected and confident in the sunsetting of your life. The top elder law firm in Florida has the experience, expertise, and compassion to guide you through all aspects of estate planning, including crisis estate planning, wills and trusts, probate, exploitation prevention and recovery, guardianships, medicaid planning, and life care planning–the newest initiative to make sure you are taken care of throughout the span of your life.