Spring 2010 - Vol V Issue 1
Planning Beyond Advance Health Care Directives
Faculty and alumni of the School of Nursing are well aware of the importance of patients signing advance health care directives and powers of attorney designating an agent to make health care-related decisions for them in the event of incapacity and inability to provide informed consent. Among the first questions asked of patients prior to undergoing medical procedures or being admitted to medical facilities is whether such documents have been prepared. Having a health care power of attorney in place is a crucial step in putting the health/medical side of one’s life in order, and goes a long way toward assuring that medical needs are met in the way the patient would prefer.
Just as important as putting one’s health care life in order is making arrangements for management of one’s family and financial life during illness, incapacity, and after death, i.e. creating an estate plan.
Yet how many of us have a current durable power of attorney for financial management that designates agents to act for us in financial and administrative matters when we are unable to do so? How many have a current will or revocable trust in place that nominates guardians to care for minor children, trustees to manage our financial assets, pay our bills, and otherwise keep our households running when we are unable to do so, and executors to administer our estates and distribute our financial and tangible assets the way we would want them distributed when we are no longer around?
Statistics show that a majority of adults in the United States have done no estate planning. While estate planning can involve tax planning, putting an estate plan in place it is not just for the wealthy. Anyone who has assets and individual or charitable beneficiaries—like USF’s School of Nursing—needs an estate plan. Such a plan would include not only the health care and financial powers of attorney, but also a will and, perhaps, a revocable trust and beneficiary designations that direct the post-death distribution of your assets. A good estate plan is the only way to guarantee your assets will be distributed as you’d like them to be when you are no longer living.
Contact your attorney and consider creating an estate plan. If you need a referral, USF’s Office of Planned Giving would be pleased to provide contact information for qualified California legal and tax professionals who can assist you personally.
For more information, please contact:
David Cunningham, director of planned giving – 415.422.6259; email@example.com
Theresa A. Nagle, senior planned giving officer – 415.422.4334; firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevin Leong, planned giving officer – 415.422.5491; email@example.com
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