If you recently experienced a medical emergency as a result of a vehicular accident, you may find yourself mentally assessing your estate planning documents. As you do, you may realize that they are in need of updating.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that there were 33,244 police-reported wrecks resulting in death and almost two million involving injuries in 2019. A crash is not the only occurrence that may lead to severe, debilitating harm. It is important to make sure your estate documents are up-to-date in case of such an incident.
Power of attorney
With this document, you appoint a trusted agent to manage your affairs if you become incapable of doing so due to mental incapacity or physical disability. There is more than one kind of power of attorney. You may consider authorizing an individual to handle your financial decisions and assets or to make important medical choices for you. You may also give an individual limited ability to perform certain tasks on your behalf, such as cashing checks.
Advanced care directive
This specifies your wishes with regards to end-of-life care if you are unable to express them at the time due to loss of cognitive ability or some other reason, such as being in a coma. For example, you may refuse certain kinds of treatment or state that you want others. Funeral arrangements, preferred location to receive medical care and body part donation preferences are also subjects you may wish to include in this document.
An accident may happen at any time. Proactively updating your estate plan may help you prepare for an accident or other event that may result in death or serious injury.