Welcome back. These five posts are for those of you who already have a plan in place. We are checking to see whether your plan is still good, or if it was ever good. Check out 100 Second Checks Parts One, Two, Three and Four if you haven’t yet.
- Can You Find Your Documents?
- Are The Right People Named?
- Is The Will Signed (Properly)?
- Does Your Plan Avoid Specific Gifts?
Remember, you need to answer YES to ALL five questions. If you answer NO or you are not sure, look around KLF’s site to find more answers (willpartner.com or theketchersidlawfirm.com). Maybe it’s time to consider a new plan.
FIFTH 100 SECONDS: DOES YOUR PLAN INCLUDE DISABILITY DOCUMENTS?
No one wants to be disabled, but everyone should have a plan in place if the unexpected happens. Disability documents authorize others to make financial and medical decisions for you when you are unable. They also inform your doctors about your personal end of life wishes about life support.
Do-it-yourself “simple wills” and some online options completely ignore this VERY important facet of planning. It should not be ignored. Some plans don’t have state specific documents. The State of Texas (and the Federal Government for HIPAA Releases) has set guidelines for these documents. A “one size fits 50 states” form is not the perfect answer.
Even worse, though, is having these documents and not knowing what power it is you have signed over. Read the documents and make sure you understand what your signature at the bottom has given authority for.
Check also to make sure the agents you have named in these documents are up to date. If an agent has died or is no longer appropriate for the position, changes should be made to ensure your health and happiness in the event of disability.
The fifth 100 seconds is to check for disability documents that should be included to have a complete plan. These documents include: Power of Attorney; Medical/Healthcare Power of Attorney; HIPAA release; Living Will or Directive to Physicians; and Declaration of Guardian. Without these documents in place, heavy court intervention will be involved if you become disabled. If disability documents are missing or have incorrect agents identified, you should have a new plan made, and SOON!
That’s it. You’re finished. If you answered NO to any of the five questions, we seriously encourage you to think about a new plan – for you and your family’s sake. Spend the few minutes it takes to make sure your family is protected and if they’re not, take some time around the site or get started on your new plan under the “Start Planning” tab.