This sentiment seems to hold especially true when it comes to estate planning. The mere words “estate planning” tend to invoke fear among the majority of people.
This is in large part due to the vast size and importance of the task which along with widespread misunderstanding make estate planning appear to be a more substantial undertaking to “conquer” than it really is.
Many frequently asked questions pertaining to estate planning revolve around establishing a plan for times when others would have to make difficult decisions.
For example, people often ask how to officially declare they do not want medical care and treatment in cases where injury or illness will prevent recovery beyond that of a vegetative state or an otherwise functional quality of life.
Frequently referred to as one of the singular most important parts of estate planning, an Advance Health Care Directive (AHCD) names health care agents you implicitly trust to manage your care and make decisions if you are no longer able to do so.
Any adult recognized as mentally competent to make personal decisions is permitted to establish an AHCD and due to their importance, anyone over the age of 18 should sign a professionally prepared document.
An AHCD covers everything from continuing care decisions in terms of terminal illness or persistent vegetative states with no reasonable expectation of recovery to whether or not you wish to make anatomic donations.
For expecting mothers it can also state whether medical intervention should keep the mother alive (in the event of a catastrophic health care event) until the time the baby can be birthed.
Problems can and do arise when other family members are uncertain as to your health care instructions or who is to give those instructions.
In reality, disagreements among people are inevitable. They are even more serious when they revolve around matters of life and death. What family members may judge to be in your best interest does not always coincide with your personal beliefs and the health care decisions you would make
Mr. Abraham is an experienced attorney and founding member of the Law Firm of Abraham & Bauer. The Towson, MD office of the firm concentrates its practice in Estate Planning, Elder Law, Probate, Medical Assistance (Medicaid), Guardianship, Asset Preservation and Fiduciary Representation.
He is an active member in a number of professional organizations that focus on law, the senior community, and estate planning. He works with clients in Central Maryland, especially in Towson, Hunt Valley, Lutherville/Timonium, Parkville, White Marsh, Bel Air & Northern Baltimore City.
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