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Should you put yourself first when estate planning?

As you work to create your estate plan, you may have your family in mind. You may review and inventory your assets, consider your loved ones' needs and desires, and determine who should receive which pieces of property. However, an estate plan can go far beyond simply deciding how to distribute your assets after death.

Your estate plan could prove immensely beneficial during your life as well as after death. If you take the time to consider your own potential wants and needs, especially when it comes to later-in-life health care, you may allow yourself to feel more at ease. Though you may want to put your children and other family members ahead of yourself, putting yourself first may allow you to create a solid estate plan.

Durable power of attorney

Because of the possibility of incapacitation at some point during your life, appointing durable power of attorney agents may work in your favor. You may appoint an agent to handle both your financial and health-related decisions, or you could appoint separate individuals to take care of each area. By creating a power of attorney document, you may feel reassured that responsible and trusted parties will have the ability to make decisions on your behalf.

Living will

Though you likely know that a will goes into effect after your death, you could also create a living will. This document applies while you are still alive but facing a likely life-ending medical situation. With this document, you can provide instructions on how you would like your care handled in the event that you do not have much chance -- if any -- of recovery. For instance, you could state whether you would like to remain on life support and receive suggested treatments or would like to forgo artificial assistance.

HIPAA release

HIPAA refers to the federal act that protects your medical information from disclosure to undesired parties. Only individuals you deem appropriate can gain access to this information. Therefore, you may wish to complete a release form as part of your estate plan, which details who can have access to this information in the event that you do not have the ability to grant access later.

These documents and many others can allow you to create a comprehensive and beneficial estate plan. Therefore, you may want to find out more information on what other planning tools may allow you to create a plan with which you feel secure and comfortable.

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The Law Offices of Gruccio, Pepper, DeSanto & Ruth, P.A.
817 East Landis Avenue
Vineland, New Jersey 08360

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