Most people, whether they are facing an illness or not, know that estate planning is an important part of being an adult. Just about everyone knows what a Last Will is, and what POA stands for. But when faced when an illness, planning for the present can be even harder than planning for the future.
We’ve come up with a list of 7 forms that might help to make your life, or that of your family member or friend, a little easier during an illness while navigating the complicated waters of finance, family, and treatment.
If you already have a Last Will, but would like to make a small change to it, a Codicil is what you would use. You can even use it to change an executor or guardian.
The benefit of a Codicil is that you won’t have to create a whole new Last Will and Testament for one small change, saving you time and stress.
- Letter of Intent
A Letter of Intent is a useful form that you can use to indicate your intentions. You can use a Letter of Intent to suggest who you would like to be a guardian for your children, who you would like to care for your pets, any estate planning preferences, and more.
Basically, a Letter of Intent is a piece of non-binding documentation that tells your family and friends that you would like something done a certain way. Although a Letter of Intent is not legally binding to any parties mentioned within it, it helps to avoid confusion by ensuring that the people in charge of your care, or that of your children or pets, will have an idea of your specific wishes.
- Gift Deed
A Gift Deed is a form that allows a person to gift an item to another, or to have your representative transfer a gift in your name. It documents your intentions for an item and appoints a representative to follow through with your wishes should you become unable to do so.
This can be useful if you are undergoing treatment during someone else’s important life event. You can still plan to recognize it, but someone else will ensure that the gift arrives.
- Child Medical Consent and Child Travel Consent
A Child Medical Consent form is used to give a guardian the right to make medical decisions for your child if you are temporarily unable to. One instance would be if your child was taking a trip with friends, family, or as part of a school event.
A Child Travel Consent is what allows a child to travel with another adult or alone. This might mean as part of a school trip, with friends, with family, or on their own.
Having both forms ensures that if there is an emergency while you child is gone, and you aren’t there to make decisions as their legal guardian, the proper choices will be made with as little complication as possible.
- Survivorship Deed
A Survivorship Deed is what you can use to document that you and someone else share property rights. It ensures that, if one party is to pass away, the rights of and interest in the property will pass to the second party.
Survivorship Deeds are useful for couples who are not married, but who would like their property to be left to their partner in the event of their passing. Since Survivorship Deeds bypass the need for probate, it can help to make the process simpler and easier for the inheriting partner.
By using various forms, you can take care of small changes that you may not have thought of, and you can be sure to have a little more peace of mind.
When you are dealing with an illness personally, or you know someone who is, it’s important to have a solid plan so that the patient can focus on healing instead of the stress of planning for emergency situations and even everyday events.