Recently, we asked people what questions they have regarding estate planning or for topics they would like us to cover for them in this blog. Someone asked about “healthcare proxies.” And this is a topic we love – because it is so important to have a named healthcare proxy or surrogate. These terms are interchangeable, by the way. And we typically use the term healthcare surrogate in our office, but either will work.
A healthcare surrogate is the person you name to make healthcare decisions on your behalf. Of course, your own decisions override any decisions your healthcare surrogate would make on your behalf, so long as you have capacity. But, the real issue is that if you somehow lose capacity, whether temporarily or permanently, it is too late to name someone to fill that role. The named healthcare surrogate can make all medical decisions and can also gain access to your medical records.
We suggest completing these designations to all of our clients. And, then, we direct our clients to give a copy of the documents to your healthcare providers so that in an emergency, your medical team will be aware of who your healthcare surrogate is and how to reach them.
Please call the office if you would like to discuss setting up your healthcare surrogate or for any other estate planning needs. We can be reached at (352) 356-8373.
It is hurricane season. As we have seen recently in North Carolina, and last year, right here close to home, hurricanes come whether we are ready or not. Whether we are prepared, or not. But, a little preparation can go a long way. And, if we prepare, there is no guarantee we will be affected. But, if we have prepared and do not experience the damage or power and water outages a hurricane can sometimes bring, what harm have we caused? Not preparing for hurricanes can bring far more hardship than preparing for one that didn’t bring damage.
Same goes for estate planning. Except, unlike a hurricane, death is inevitable. Like a hurricane, everyone has different goals and needs and a little preparation can go a long way to prevent bigger problems. Just because we plan, doesn’t mean death is immediately upon us.
But, it is also important to know that estate planning can be about living. And, doing so on your own terms. You can name pre-need guardians for your minor children should something happen to you. You can name a guardian for yourself, should you become unable to make your own decisions – and prevent a court’s involvement. You can decide who would handle your healthcare decisions in an emergency situation or who will handle your finances.
But, if we do not have any plans in place to help satisfy our needs, goals or wishes, and something tragic does happen, planning that could have cost a minimal amount could create the need for a court to determine what is best for us. And that can be expensive, but also intrusive.
Take charge now and give yourself and your family peace of mind. Call us today. Let’s have a free consultation to discuss your needs and your goals. Let us help you plan for peace of mind.
From time to time, people have legal questions that can be quickly addressed. Of course, that is not always the case. All cases are different and generally, specific legal questions cannot be addressed in a forum such as this.
However, Legal Ease will address general issues and answer questions; attempting to make sometimes complicated issues a little more simple to understand. To that end, please let me know if you have a specific topic you would like me to cover. We’ll do our best to cover requested topics.
Welcome. Thank you for trusting us with your legal needs.
Natasha M. Allen, Esq.