No one wants to think about what will happen when they reach the end of their life. As a result, many people put off end-of-life planning until the last minute.
But as experienced estate planning attorneys, we know that end-of-life decisions should not be made at the end of life. Instead, the best time to make these crucial decisions is now.
Read on to learn a few reasons why you should not put off end-of-life decisions until the last minute.
End-of-Life Decisions Require a Clear Head
The most important reason not to make end-of-life decisions at the end of your life is that you need a clear head and sound mind to make these important decisions. You’ll need to decide about issues like:
- Who will manage your finances as a power of attorney when you cannot manage them yourself
- Which family members will receive which assets after your death
- Who will be your healthcare decision maker
- Whether you will desire life-sustaining treatments, such as a feeding tube or intubation
These decisions require careful thought and consideration. Depending on your health concerns at the time, you may not be alert and focused enough to decide about palliative care, quality of life, and other health care decisions. You may also not make decisions about your assets that you would have made with a sound mind.
Instead, the best time to make these decisions is now, while you still have a clear head.
Your Family May Try to Sway Your Decisions
Your family and friends probably mean a lot to you, and you may believe you can trust them to act in your best interest. But, unfortunately, the family members of a dying person often take measures to sway their end-of-life decisions to benefit them personally.
For instance, a distant relative could approach you on your deathbed and coerce you into signing a document that gives them control of your assets after your death. Depending on your health and state of mind, you may not even be aware that you signed the document.
The safest course of action is to establish an estate plan with an attorney now.
You Need Time to Think About What’s Important
While you may not want to spend any time thinking about the end of your life while you’re still healthy, the truth is that you need time to think about what’s important to you. Many health care decisions require careful thought and planning. You may also want to talk to your doctor or your family and friends who are health professionals to gain their insight and guidance.
You Don’t Want to Wait Until It’s Too Late
Finally, you may miss your window of opportunity if you put off end-of-life decisions too long. Unfortunately, you never know when your life will end, but establishing a solid estate plan now can give you peace of mind that you have the right plans in place.
Contact an Experienced Upper Marlboro Estate Planning Attorney
If you need help implementing end-of-life decisions, contact the Law Office of Ralph W. Powers, Jr. P.C., at 301-627-1000.