Our hearts and prayers go out to the hundreds of thousands of people whose lives have been devastated by Hurricane Harvey. The devastation is almost inconceivable, and we often like to think that crises like this are isolated incidents that won’t happen to us.
In Florida, we know that how well you weather a storm depends on how ready you are beforehand. However, personal and financial emergencies come in many forms, not just natural disasters, and preparation entails much more than stockpiling food and batteries.
Legal, Financial, and Medical Preparedness
Having your financial and medical records (including estate planning documents) organized and accessible is key to your ability to successfully navigate and recover from any kind of emergency.
There are a multitude of checklists and forms to help you organize all of this information into a centralized, easily accessible place that can be grabbed quickly as you head out your front door. We suggest that you review and take steps to implement the government’s suggested checklist. You can also download our Vital Information Workbook.
Why Estate Planning Documents Are Important to Your Preparedness
No matter what checklist you use, you will see that having estate planning documents in place is high on that list. It is important to have your estate plan prepared and executed well in advance of any emergency.
A Durable Power of Attorney allows someone you trust to pay bills and deal with insurance carriers if you are injured and unable to do so yourself. A Medical Power of Attorney, also called a Designation of Health Care Surrogate, allows someone else to discuss treatment options with your medical providers and make treatment decisions if you are not able to do so.
Without these basic and affordable documents, your family will not be able to immediately step in and assist you; instead they will first have to get a court to appoint a guardian over you and your affairs, and the court’s choice of guardian may not necessarily be the same person you would have picked for yourself.
To find out how easy and affordable it is to put these documents in place, contact us to schedule a no obligation, no cost estate planning appointment.