Top 5 Reasons to Start Your Estate Planning BEFORE a Health Crisis

Oftentimes, a health scare inspires people to get their affairs in order by creating an estate plan. While any time is the right time to take this important step, here are five reasons to start the estate planning process before a health crisis.

1. Your Peace of Mind
Thinking of a New Year’s Resolution? During a health crisis, you need to focus your energy on treatment and healing. With an estate plan in place, you will have the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your finances and—if needed—healthcare decisions are going to be overseen according to your wishes.

2. Your Loved Ones’ Peace of Mind
Meanwhile, with your estate plan in place, you have removed some burdens from your loved ones so they can focus on supporting you. They will have the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your healthcare power of attorney will provide decision-making guidance and the power to make decisions on your behalf if you are unable or become unable to make them yourself. In addition, with a financial power of attorney in place, the ongoing bills—and the new, accumulating medical and other bills—will be managed by the agent you have appointed.

3. Avoid Court Proceedings
Having your estate plan in place, your intentions are clearly and legally documented. If you are incapacitated, a comprehensive estate plan will include a Power of Attorney in which you have provided guidance on how you want your financial decisions and affairs handled, as well as a Health Care Power of Attorney, HIPPA, and Living Will, if you want one, in which you have designated your healthcare decisionmaker. Not having the kind of clarity these documents provide, the court may become involved in your healthcare and financial decision making.

4. Avoid Potential Incapacity Issue
If you wait to begin the estate planning process until after a health care crisis, you may be creating an opportunity for someone to challenge your estate plan based on mental capacity. In other words, based on the severity or type of health care crisis you experience, anyone aggrieved by the estate plan you create afterward may make the argument that you were not “of sound mind and sound body” when you created the estate plan.

5. Make Changes When Needed
Finally, your estate plan need not be set in stone. While an irrevocable trust does have restrictions, you can update a will and a revocable trust. Therefore, you can get your comprehensive estate plan in place and make updates as your circumstances and the laws change.

Work with a Virginia Estate Planning Attorney
We are here to help you with your comprehensive estate plan; and we are here to adjust that plan if your circumstances change through our Maintenance Plan. Call Wilson Law PLC today at 866-603-5976 to set up a meeting or fill out our contact form and we will call you to schedule your meeting.