Whether you’re undergoing a simple procedure or something more invasive, it never hurts to get some planning done first.
Important medical decisions you need to make
Since even the most minor surgeries can pose a risk, an advance directive should be a given for anyone about to enter an operating room. The primary components include naming a healthcare proxy and creating a living will. All you need to do is download your state’s form on Everplans.com and fill it out.
There’s also organ donation (and other medical odds and ends) to consider, but the purpose is for you to make these tough decisions so your family isn’t forced to do it.
Make a will
You’re having surgery to fix something, which is a good thing. You might be completely calm about it or freaking out. Regardless of what you’re experiencing, it’s a good idea to have an updated will in place. It’s not just about money and assets. If you’re the sole guardian of a child or special needs adult, you need to name someone who’ll be taking care of them.
Name a power of attorney
Think of a power of attorney (POA) as your financial stand-in, like in movies when the star can’t be bothered to set up a shot. As they say on Wall Street, money never sleeps, and taxes, contracts, and other financial dealings might not be able to wait for you to completely heal.
If you’re laid up in the hospital for a few weeks or if you require extensive rehabilitation, you can alleviate any concerns regarding your finances during your recovery by naming a POA. This person will be able to pay bills, manage bank accounts, oversee investments, sign contracts, and file your taxes.
Get your paperwork under control
If something happened, would your family know where you keep all your important paperwork? This includes your will, life insurance policy, power of attorney, advance directive, as well as passwords for important or shared digital accounts.
People in the military sometimes write a letter that should be given to their loved ones in case they don’t make it home. There’s usually a sense of urgency in the military since the risk is real. But the same can hold true in civilian life as well.
If you’re not sure what to write, perhaps an ethical will can help you organize your thoughts and clearly communicate your values, experiences, and life lessons to your family.
Things to Consider
- It’s a responsible move to do a little estate planning before undergoing a medical procedure.
- If you don’t have your official estate planning documents in place (will, power of attorney, advance directive), now’s the perfect time.
- Once you’re recovered, you’ll be so happy you got all of this out of the way.
This article is provided by Everplans — a life and legacy planning company dedicated to transforming the way people get their families organized. For more information, visit: everplans.com
Neither Transamerica nor its agents or representatives may provide tax, investment, or legal advice. Anyone to whom this material is promoted, marketed, or recommended should consult with and rely on their own independent tax and legal advisors and financial professional regarding their particular situation and the concepts presented herein.