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Wills, other documents important parts of estate plan

Upon hearing the term estate planning, many residents of New York may automatically think about putting together a will. However, wills generally do not have much to do with those creating them; they are really about planning for other people, such as fellow loved ones. Estate planning is really also about taking care of the person creating the plan, while he or she is still alive.

An important part of any estate plan is the advanced health care directive, which is sometimes also called the medical power of attorney. This document allows the document creator to decide who will make decisions on his or her behalf in the event of a serious injury or illness. This particular individual will be considered the health care agent.

A living will is also important, as it describes the types of medical treatment and care that the will creator wants and does not want to receive when he or she is close to dying without the hope of recovery. The health care agent has the authority to ensure that these wishes are considered. This document is especially helpful in that it keeps family members from having to second-guess the sick loved one's desires.

Creating wills and other estate planning documents understandably is not among most New York residents' favorite things to do. After all, it may seem like a morbid activity, and young adults in particular may not consider it to be a truly urgent matter. However, failing to create an estate plan can have negative long-term consequences. An attorney can help with creating such a plan so that one's desires and family members' best interests will be upheld and protected in the years ahead.

Source: forbes.com, "The Biggest Estate Planning Mistake People Make", Brad Wiewel, Aug. 16, 2017

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