Healthcare & Estate Planning

When an individual is unconscious or otherwise unable to make their own decisions, they can lose control over the decisions that are made on their behalf. This includes healthcare decisions related to forensic exams (ex: rape kits) and life-sustaining treatment. The individual may also become incapable of handling their own daily affairs, leaving issues such as managing finances and care of children in unknown hands. This can be particularly scary for survivors who experience sexual abuse at the hands of their next of kin, because their abuser may then be in charge of making important life-altering decisions. This undesired situation can be avoided by creating and signing some important documents.

Jane Doe works with adults to take control of their decisions and prepare for the possibility of crimes and healthcare emergencies. Jane Doe’s one-of-a-kind Holistic Healthcare Plan gives each individual more control than ever over their emergency healthcare by including provisions for not only traditional medical treatment, but also for mental health treatment, forensic exams, and directives specific to pregnancy. The Holistic Healthcare Plan includes an in-depth consultation and review of healthcare goals, ample time to research and make healthcare-related decisions, and distribution of relevant documents to healthcare providers of your choice. Completing a Holistic Healthcare Plan with Jane Doe will result in an all-inclusive advance healthcare directive, durable power of attorney for healthcare, and emergency contact cards.The Holistic Healthcare Plan includes:

  • Advance Healthcare Directive (also called a Living Will).  A healthcare directive is a document in which you specifically state which medical treatments or procedures you want or do not want under certain situations. For example, you may indicate that you want certain life-sustaining medical treatment to be administered for a certain length of time before being withdrawn, or that you do not want to undergo certain medical procedures, such as kidney dialysis or the administration of artificial nutrition through feeding tubes.
  • Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare.  In the event of a circumstance not covered by your healthcare directive, another adult must be appointed to make medical decisions on your behalf. A power of attorney for healthcare allows you to designate who will be in charge of making these decisions. Without a power of attorney for healthcare, decision-making power rests with someone determined by law to be your next of kin. With a power of attorney for healthcare, you can be sure that the person making decisions on your behalf if someone you trust.

In addition to the healthcare plan, a complete estate plan allows you to make decisions about your money, property, and loved ones such as children and pets. Components of an estate plan will vary depending on your individual goals and circumstances. A typical estate plan may include the following:

  • Will.  A will is the most common estate planning document. A will outlines your desires and intentions regarding your family and property, including guardianship of minors, how your debts will be paid, and how your assets will be distributed. A will can be tailored to meet almost any need and circumstance.
  • Trust.  A trust is a tool used to protect certain assets that you want to be handled in a certain way. Property can be placed in trust during your lifetime or arranged to be put into a trust upon your death. Some estate plans may have multiple trusts and some may not have one at all.
  • Durable Power of Attorney.  A durable power of attorney appoints an individual or series of individuals who are authorized to handle your personal and financial affairs. General durable powers of attorney are usually set to take effect only in the event that you are unable to handle your affairs on your own.

 

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For information on healthcare and estate planning, please call 314.329.5339.

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