Alzheimer’s Disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects cognitive functions, including memory, thinking, and behavior. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are currently 5.7 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s Disease and, by 2050, that number will increase to nearly fourteen million. The association claims that Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Continue reading “Early Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s and the Need for Advanced Directives to be in Place”
Health Care Proxy
A health care proxy designates an agent to make medical decisions in the event a person becomes incapacitated.
Continue reading “Summer Is Approaching, so Be Sure to Have Your Advanced Directives in Place”
Advanced directives are documents that assist in the event that a person loses the capacity to make decisions on their own behalf. These documents allow a designated agent to act on someone else’s behalf in order to make medical or financial decisions. It is recommended that those over the age of eighteen have advanced directives in place, especially if he or she is going away to college. Continue reading “Be Sure You Have Advanced Directives in Place”
Creating and maintaining a comprehensive estate plan is essential to preserving assets and ensuring that a beneficiary’s financial needs are met in the event that a person should die. A thorough estate plan can be created at any age and should include a Last Will & Testament and advanced directives such as a Health Care Proxy, Living Will, and Power of Attorney. Some estate plans may also include a Trust in order to protect certain assets. Continue reading “Storing and Maintaining Original Estate Planning Documents”
For many teens across the country, college has finally begun! Many students are beginning their freshman year of college at 18 years old. This means that they are considered an adult. Due to this, parents or guardians no longer have the right to access their child’s medical information even though they are likely paying tuition and have the adult child on their health insurance. Many estate-planning attorneys are advising parents and guardians to obtain a health care proxy with a HIPPA waiver, as well as a Power of Attorney.
A health care proxy is a signed document that gives an agent or agents the power to make medical decisions for someone in the event that he or she becomes incapacitated. Oftentimes, many people ask whether or not an attorney is required to sign a health care proxy for it to be valid. The answer to that question is no. An attorney is not required to sign a health care proxy. In order for a health care proxy to be valid, two adult witnesses must sign it. It is worth noting that a named health care agent cannot be a witness. In addition, it is important to name alternate agents in the event that the first agent is unable, unavailable, or unwilling to act.
Every individual should have documents such as a Health Care Proxy, Living Will, Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) and/or Do Not Intubate (DNI), and Practitioner Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) in place to assist loved ones who may need to make medical decisions on their behalf, including end-of-life decisions. A brief overview of the purpose of each document can be found below.