Preparing assets for distribution to your loved ones after your death is an important undertaking, but equally essential is the need to prepare your loved ones for end-of-life realities, as well. One of the most stunning demographic trends of our time is the rapid aging of our society. It is estimated that the senior citizen population will double by the year 2030. Upwards of 10,000 people are joining the Social Security rolls each and every day. To drill down further, those termed the “oldest old,” people at least 85 years of age, are the fastest-growing subset of the senior citizen population.
These days when you’re planning for your twilight years, it is realistic to think you may live into your late 80s and beyond. When you put this into perspective, the possibility of a period of incapacity becomes all the more real. This is why elder law attorneys recommend the execution of advance health care directives.
The advance health care directives that are widely utilized are the living will and health care proxy or durable medical power of attorney. With the living will you indicate the medical procedures you are willing to accept and those you choose to deny should you not be able to state your decisions due to incapacity. If you remember the highly publicized Terri Schiavo case, you’ll understand the value of a living will.
The other advance directive that many people include along with a living will is a durable medical or health care power of attorney. This document empowers someone to make medical decisions for you if are unable to make them for yourself. You should consider including both documents in your planning since your living will only allows for termination (or continuation) of life support, while the health care power of attorney allows your health care representative to consent to necessary medical treatment.
For additional information, please join us for an upcoming FREE seminar. If you have additional questions or concerns about how to prepare an advance health care directive or health care power of attorney, contact an experienced attorney at Parman & Easterday by calling 405-843-6100 to schedule your appointment today.