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Steps to consider when getting your affairs in order

The topic of planning for how financial resources get handled after death is something that many Indiana residents do not want to think about. However, planning for things like funeral costs, distribution of one’s estate, and covering the expense of long-term care in advance can be beneficial.

Plan for your finances and your estate

A person’s choice of financial documents for handling their estate may vary. A will is a document for estate planning that outlines the management or distribution of property, money and assets after death. It can specify how funds will get distributed to underage children and adult dependents. A durable power of attorney form designates someone to make financial decisions on behalf of someone who cannot do so. Living trusts designate a trustee to distribute property and manage funds for individuals who can no longer handle their affairs.

Plan for long-term healthcare

A medical directive is a legal document used in estate planning that gives instructions for medical care. This document only has power if the individual is impaired or cannot communicate their wishes or desires. The most common documents used for this purpose are durable powers of attorney and living wills.

Living wills let doctors know what treatments a person wants if they cannot decide about emergency care. It allows individuals to outline the treatments they will accept and those they will avoid.

A durable power of attorney for healthcare identifies a healthcare proxy. This person will make decisions when the individual who prepared the document cannot make said decisions for themselves. A healthcare proxy allows a person to prepare for an unforeseen circumstance, such as an auto accident or a stroke.

Although thinking about financial planning for end-of-life is not enjoyable, having a frank discussion with loved ones and reviewing available financial documents can be beneficial.