Essential Estate Planning Documents
While an effective Will disposes of an individual’s property through directions and appointment of an executor of the eventual estate, a Will does not provide a mechanism for caring for the individual during their final illness. Because of this, Waldron & Schneider’s Will package includes a durable power of attorney (“POA”), medical POA, HIPAA release, and physician’s directives. These documents ensure that you or your loved one is thoroughly protected from uncertainty during the often-difficult period before their passing.
A durable POA allows a designated person (the “agent”) to step into the shoes of another (the “principal”) for all financial matters detailed in the document. Waldron & Schneider typically creates durable POAs will extensive powers given to the agent so that there is no lack of clarity regarding what the agent may transact. Further, our durable POAs include the language required by Texas law to continue in effect upon the disability or incapacity of the principal.
Similarly, our medical POA appoints an agent to make decisions on behalf of the principal, but specifically regarding health care or treatment. The agent can select or refuse the medical decisions they believe to be in the best interest of the principal in accordance with their needs and religious or moral beliefs.
HIPAA, a federal law enacted in 1996, protects the privacy and security of a patient’s sensitive medical and personal information. Because of HIPAA, disclosure of this information by healthcare professionals is restricted and often complicated during a patient’s hospitalization or final illness. Our HIPAA release allows an individual to designate parties who are given express permission to receive relevant medical and personal information from healthcare providers. This facilitates access to important facts during a period where time is precious.
People often discuss with us their desires regarding medical treatment during their final illness. When an individual becomes incapacitated but has not given their loved ones instructions regarding their end of life care, family members often struggle with making the “right” decisions. Our physician’s directives provides a person the ability to alleviate the difficult decisions by providing clear instructions on the preferred course of treatment.
Waldron & Schneider is experienced in crafting Last Wills and Testaments to facilitate the disposition of estates in a variety of manners. This may include specific gifts, creation of trusts, or simply leaving the entirety of your estate to your spouse. Our Wills include all relevant provisions and abide by the formalities required by law to best protect from any contests or confusion following the eventual passing.
We encourage you to consider preparing these documents before the time for their necessity arises. If you are interested in a Will package for yourself or family members, please contact our office to speak with one of our attorneys.
The legal information in this blog entry is not intended to be a substitute for seeking personalized legal advice from an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction. Further, nothing contained in this article is intended to create an attorney-client relationship with any reader. This article and website are made available by Waldron & Schneider for educational purposes only and to give basic information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this website you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and Waldron & Schneider. The article and website should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state. For more information or questions you can contact us and one of our attorneys will be in touch soon.