When you are planning your estate there are obviously financial considerations. You must decide who will be receiving inheritances, how much each individual will be getting, and how you will be getting the money into their hands.
You have a number of different options, and the best way to proceed would be to discuss them with a licensed estate planning lawyer.
When you are doing this your attorney will invariably talk to you about some other important things to consider beyond the financial element. People often go through a period of ill health before passing away. Sometimes they become unable to communicate their own decisions.
You can account for this possibility by executing a document called a health care proxy. With this legally binding device you appoint an agent that is empowered to make medical decisions in your behalf should it become necessary.
After you determine who it is that you would like to see filling this role you must make sure that he or she is willing to accept it. You would also want to discuss your general point of view with regard to medical procedures with this potential agent.
Clearly you want to pick someone that is trustworthy and reliable. However, you also want to make sure that the person is available. If your son lives in California and you live in Connecticut you may want to think twice about making your son your health care proxy.
Another thing to include in your estate plan is a HIPAA release authorization. Medical professionals are not allowed to release medical records of patients without permission. You should authorize the release of your medical information to your proxy.
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