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Four Actions to Take Before Your Death

February 19, 2014

Filed under: Estate Planning,Living Will,Medical Power of Attorney — Neel Shah @ 10:00 am

The end of a person’s life can be a difficult and confusing time. However, it doesn’t have to be. A recent article discusses four actions that every person should complete as they prepare for the next life. By completing these four actions, an individual can get the most out of his or her final days.

  1. Estate Planning: Estate planning is a process. Every person should execute his or her first estate plan upon becoming an adult. Importantly, however, a person should not neglect his or her estate plan. It is good practice for individuals to update their estate plans every three to five years, as well as after an important family event such as a birth, death, or marriage.

    Cover of "The Bucket List"

    Cover of The Bucket List

  2. Making Decisions for End of Life Care: The method through which a person wishes to leave this world is a highly personal decision. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that they can take control over how they spend their final days. This control is gained through a living will and medical power of attorney.
  3. Bury the Hatchet: It is impossible to know when the end will be. While some people may have the time and notice necessary to atone and make amends with the individuals they have hurt or from whom they have otherwise become estranged, others will pass on suddenly without any warning. It is therefore important to take care to not carry old grudges or remain estranged from former friends or family members.
  4. Bucket List: The idea of a bucket list has been gaining in popularity since the 2007 movie of the same name. A bucket list is a list of things that an individual or couple would like to do before “kicking the bucket.” If you have any such desires, consider documenting them as the first step toward making them happen.
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Zip It: Put Your Plans on a USB Drive

February 5, 2014

Filed under: Healthcare Power of Attorney,HIPAA,Living Will,Medical Power of Attorney — Neel Shah @ 2:03 pm

We cannot predict when an accident or emergency is going to take place. All too often, hospitals and caretakers are unable to follow a person’s wishes for medical treatment – even if he or she had the correct documents in place – because these documents are not immediately available. In order to avoid this fate, a recent article discusses the option of keeping critical documents on a USB drive.

English: A Sandisk-brand USB thumb drive, SanD...

A Sandisk-brand USB thumb drive, SanDisk Cruzer Micro, 4GB. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A USB drive is a portable storage device that can be attached to a keychain or stored in a wallet. In order to view its contents, a user can simply plug it into any computer with a USB port. If your friends or family members are aware that you carry it with you, they can review its contents should they be required to make any medical or legal decisions on your behalf.

In order to protect yourself and your wishes in the event of an emergency, your USB drive should include a HIPAA release, living will, and medical power of attorney. It is not advisable to put a password on this drive because then the documents will not be easily accessible. However, do not store sensitive information on your USB drive, such as account numbers and passwords, unless it is password protected or encrypted.

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