Five Essential End of Life Documents That You Should Have Organized

Many people can share a horror story about a loved one who did not have appropriate end of life care documents set up when an incapacitating event occurred.

In order to avoid a crisis in your own family, it is a good idea to think about having these documents for yourself as well as for aging parents. These include:

  • Durable power of attorney which typically will go into effect immediately and give an agent the authority to manage someone’s finances if he or she becomes incapacitated.
  • Medical information release which gives your parents’ doctors permissions to share medical records with you. Without a standardized release form, it’s a good idea for your parent to get one from their primary care physician and any specialists.
  • A healthcare proxy. This may also be referred to as a power of attorney for healthcare and this gives an authorized agent the right to make medical decisions on behalf of someone else if that person is unable to do so. This is also an important opportunity to consider a conversation about what the other person considers to be an acceptable quality of life.
  • A living will which allows the authorizing person to detail written guidance about the kind of treatment that the parent wants or doesn’t want in the event of a terminal illness.

Do not hesitate to set up a meeting with an experienced New Jersey estate planning attorney to learn more about ow you and your parents can benefit from planning opportunities.


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