The New Year Checklist

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Resolve to plan for your future, today

The New Year is a time for fresh starts and optimistic outlooks.  Your holiday to-do lists are complete.  Why not welcome 2017 with a checklist that will provide peace of mind throughout this year, and the years to come?  Ensuring that the following items are in place and updated on a regular basis will help protect you and your loved ones, no matter what the future holds.

  • Will: The primary purpose of a Will is to declare your intentions regarding the distribution of your property after your death. The type of Will that you need and the way in which your property should be distributed depends upon your particular circumstances and desires.
  • Durable Power of Attorney: A statutory durable power of attorney is used to appoint an agent to act in your place regarding financial and legal transactions and is arguably the most important document in your planning portfolio.
  • Medical Power of Attorney: A medical power of attorney enables another person to make health care decisions that you would otherwise make, if you were able. A doctor must declare you to be incapacitated before this authority becomes effective.
  • Directive to Physicians and Family or Surrogates (Living Will) – A living will provides direction regarding your desires to administer, withhold, or withdraw life-sustaining treatment if you have an irreversible or terminal condition.
  • Authorization to Release Medical Information: In 2003, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) took effect. HIPAA contains medical privacy rules that restrict disclosure of health information by health care providers and plans. A HIPAA Authorization allows the individuals that you specify to have access to your health information so they can assist in decisions regarding your care.
  • Declaration of Guardian: Further protect your interests by declaring the individuals that you would like to be appointed as guardian over you and your estate (as well as individuals who should not be appointed).
  • Long-term Care Insurance: Americans are living longer than ever, and the cost of care in the final years of life has risen dramatically. A long-term care insurance plan can help ensure that you have good options for quality care, when the time comes.

Resolve to plan for your future, today.  Check these items off your New Year’s List and alleviate the stress that can occur when care issues turn into a crisis, so that you can enjoy a fresh and optimistic start to your New Year.


Lori Leu, Erin Peirce, Lauren Olson, and Laura Chavero are Elder Law attorneys with Leu & Peirce, located in Plano, Texas. They can be reached at 972-996-2540.

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