Legal-Ease: Facing a medical crisis without prior legal preparation

Lee R. Schroeder is an Ohio licensed attorney at Schroeder Law LLC in Putnam County. He limits his practice to business, real estate, estate planning and agriculture issues in northwest Ohio. He can be reached at [email protected] or at 419-659-2058. This article is not intended to serve as legal advice, and specific advice should be sought from the licensed attorney of your choice based upon the specific facts and circumstances that you face.

Advance preparation doesn’t always happen as it should, and sometimes a medical crisis can leave you feeling helpless and underprepared. Fortunately, what you are likely to need from an attorney in a medical emergency is often pretty straightforward.

First, be sure to execute two powers of attorney. This will allow someone to sign documents and make decisions for you. One power of attorney should address financial decisions while the other power of attorney should address healthcare decisions. You can also sign a living will if you’d like, but a good healthcare power of attorney should allow your agent to sign a DNR for you.

Second, don’t give away all of your assets. It may seem like it makes sense to give away everything before you die to make things easier for the loved ones you’re leaving behind, but it often causes complications.

Third, prepare a list of all of your assets, including bank accounts, real estate, vehicles and more. This will help your attorney prepare the proper legal documents for you.

Today more than ever, life comes at us fast. We can intend to prepare in advance, but sometimes that does not happen.

Unfortunately, when it comes to our legal affairs, we sometimes can find ourselves unprepared with only weeks, days or hours left to act, usually because of a medical crisis. Unfortunately, attorneys are often not immediately available, usually because they have previously committed to perform other work. However, until you can conference with an attorney, your legal priorities (after scheduling the attorney appointment) in this context can be pretty straightforward.

Read more about legal documents in medical crisis in Lee’s article in the Lima News here: Legal-Ease: Facing a medical crisis without prior legal preparation

Source: LimaOhio.com, “Legal-Ease: Facing a medical crisis without prior legal preparation,” by Lee R. Schroeder, September 16, 2017

Posted in Estate Planning, Powers of Attorney, Probate and tagged , , .