financial tip of the week...

by Genya Harley 

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Estate Planning Checklist

Hello All:
Last week I shared a little bit of the situation I am currently dealing with in regards to my dad having a major stroke almost 2 months ago. It is my hope that you will read the series of tips to come, "heed" and act upon the information I am passing on to you.
Trust me when I tell you that I was so happy to remember the Power of Attorney document I signed, when my father presented the papers to me in 2007. It's amazing what you will remember when you are suddenly faced with making financial and life/death decisions on behalf of a loved one.

A Durable Power Attorney document allowed me to manage all of my father's business affairs. Do not assume you will be able to conduct any business on your mom or dad's behalf at the bank, doctor, etc. You will run into headaches if you do not have one of these documents!
Let me start by saying that if your parent(s) are still living and you haven't put some of these measures in place I'm giving you information about, NOW IS THE TIME! START TODAY! I will help you!
We will go back to life insurance later...beyond life insurance, one of the most important documents you can have is a Durable Power of Attorney or a Living Will. Here is information I copied for you courtesy
Both a living will and durable power of attorney for health care have a specific and distinct function. A living will allows you to specify what medical procedures you would like to have administered or withheld in the event you become terminally ill or are incapacitated and unable to communicate with your physician.
A durable power of attorney allows you to appoint an agent who may make medical decisions regarding your care on your behalf. In some states, living wills and durable power of attorney may be combined into what is known as an advance health directive.
Living wills are intended to apply only to medical procedures and treatments that may be used at the end-of-life phase. For example, you may specify your preferences regarding the use of artificial respirators, feeding tubes, blood transfusions, surgery, dialysis, pain management, resuscitation and organ donation. In most states, a living will is not enforceable if you are pregnant.
A durable power of attorney may apply to these same circumstances or it can also become effective in situations where you are temporarily unable to make decisions due to your medical condition. For example, a durable power of attorney can be used to consent to treatment for mental illness. You may be as broad or specific as you like in drafting a living will or durable power of attorney.
The primary benefit of a living will is that it allows you to express your wishes to your physician and your loved ones regarding your end-of-life care. The majority of states have some type of statutory law that requires physicians to comply with a patient's wishes, unless the patient requests assisted suicide. Living wills are also flexible and can be changed or revoked at any time. Both living wills and a durable power of attorney can help to reduce conflict or stress among your family members by removing the burden of having to make potentially difficult decisions.
Before drafting a living will or durable power of attorney, you must first determine what the requirements are for establishing one in your state. Generally, you must be a legal adult of sound mind to draft a living will or durable power of attorney. In most cases, you will need to have at least two witnesses present when you draft these documents. If you do not wish to be resuscitated by emergency or hospital, you may need to consider drafting a separate Do Not Resuscitate order to ensure your wishes are carried out.
After all of this is said and done....does your loved one have LIFE INSURANCE? Do they have enough Life Insurance to cover medical bills, mortgage etc?
If you have any questions or comments, please call me or email me.
Until safe, use wisdom!


Genya Harley
Financial Consultant
Mutual of Omaha
19255 Everett Lane, Suite C
Mokena, IL 60448

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