4 Things To Protect Your Health In Estate Planning

Posted on: 28 August 2023

Good estate planning protects your wealth and ensures your beneficiaries get what they deserve after your demise. However, estate planning is not solely for monetary wealth control. Good estate planning also encompasses your biggest wealth — your health. Below are four estate-planning tools you can use to protect your health.

1. Healthcare Proxy

A healthcare proxy gives another person the legal authority to make healthcare decisions on your behalf if you cannot make the decisions. For example, your healthcare proxy may manage your health if you are in a coma and cannot make the relevant decisions. Your healthcare proxy may:

  • Decide which medical specialists you need to see
  • Which hospitals should treat you
  • Which treatments you should have
  • Whether to stop or continue treatments

The government and medical professionals will listen to your healthcare proxy just as they would if you were the one stating the wishes.

2. Living Will

A living will is a legal document that prescribes your preferences about medical treatments. You use the living will to decide the treatments you wish to have or avoid. The living will is an advanced directive that comes into force if you cannot make your wishes known.

You can use a living will to pre-determine any medical issue. However, many people use them for controversial or complex issues, such as organ donation, tube feeding, and Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Your healthcare proxy will use your living will to understand your wishes so they can enforce them.

3. HIPPA Release Authorization

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) protects sensitive patient information from unauthorized third parties. For example, the act means your doctor cannot release your medical information to your sibling without your permission.

HIPPA protection can make your healthcare proxy's work difficult if the proxy cannot get the necessary information to make the relevant decisions. You need HIPPA authorization to release your medical information to a designated person, such as your healthcare proxy. That way, your healthcare proxy can make informed decisions.

4. Financial Power of Attorney

Lastly, a financial power of attorney can help pay for medical treatments beyond your health insurance limits. A financial power of attorney gives another person permission to manage your financial assets if you cannot manage the assets. For example, the financial power of attorney to release the funds you need for expensive experimental treatments your medical insurance excludes.

Consult an estate-planning lawyer to help you create legally binding estate plans. That way, you can be sure of your plans taking shape even if you are not around. 

For more info, contact a local estate planning lawyer