When people face incapacitation in life it can be a real challenge. People have to learn to rely on others in order for their most basic needs to be met. This doesn't just include people's basic needs -- like housing or food -- but it also includes people's financial affairs. Elderly people, in particular, may need help managing their finances if they begin to lose the ability to help themselves.
Michigan residents can suffer from a variety of serious health issues. These issues can progress slowly or quickly and take away a person's ability to make decisions on the person's own behalf. When this happens, Michigan residents may need friends or family members to make important medical decisions for them. Otherwise, people may be left without being able to have a voice in their own treatment.
Michigan residents need to plan for the good times and the bad. People spend their entire lives making plans for what they will do today, tomorrow or next month. They make detailed lists about what they need to purchase each week, or what they need to get for a special occasion.
Michigan residents often need to give legal power to another individual for a specific purpose. This is particularly true for individuals who have a disability. In some cases, people only need to do this for a short amount of time. In other situations, people may need help for the duration of the disability. Often, signing a power of attorney to another individual can help to alleviate the person's struggles. With the power of attorney in place, an individual can rely on another to help make and execute important decisions.
Michigan residents can fall ill in a number of situations. Often, an illness is just a passing discomfort. However, there are situations where a person can suffer from a degenerative illness that makes it difficult for the person to make decisions. A person may need help making financial decisions or healthcare-related decisions as the person fights through the illness.
Michigan residents often desire to be in charge over their own affairs. Most people want to be able to handle their own money, their own property and their own healthcare decisions. Many people can go their entire lives without needing help from anyone in making these decisions.
Michigan residents often go to great lengths to ensure that their estate plans are perfect. This often includes working with professionals to make sure that every last detail has been thought about. An estate plan can include everything from where people want certain assets to go when they die, to how medical decisions should be made if they become incapacitated.
What do I need to include in my estate plan? This is a question that many of our Michigan readers will be asking themselves at some point when they begin the process of putting together the necessary documents for their unique situations. Every estate plan is different. Does everyone need to use some kind of trust in their estate plan? Not necessarily, though trusts are great for fulfilling certain needs. However, almost without exception, two important documents that need to be included in a Michigan resident's estate plan are a durable power of attorney and a health care power of attorney.
Previous posts here have detailed how important it is to have a sound, comprehensive estate plan. But, what exactly is the most important part? Some would argue that it is the will, some that a certain trust is a priority. It really does just depend on the situation, but one part that can make the most difference during a critical time is the inclusion of powers of attorney.
There are times in life, perhaps in some of our Michigan readers' lives, when a tragedy will bring family members together. An unfortunate situation, such as a car accident or a prolonged terminal illness, can lead to family members gathering at the hospital, hoping for bits of news from doctors and asking themselves what they can do to help. In the most dire of situations, health care professionals may approach the family members for a decision on what course of medical treatment should be rendered. If the incapacitated person is without the right kind of power of attorney, those moments could lead to fractious and fruitless discussions amongst the family members.