LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Local money expert Stephen Schiestel breaks down some important documents and processes for planning your estate in this Money Monday.
First question: what’s an advanced directive?
An advanced directive is similar to a durable power of attorney.
It’s an umbrella term that covers three different legal documents. An advanced directive can cover a durable power of attorney for healthcare, meaning it appoints an individual to make medical decisions for you when you cannot.
“It would need to be someone that knows us,” said Schiestel.
The second document it covers is your living will, which dictates what kinds of medical care you would wish to have when you are incapacitated.
The last thing it covers is a “do not resuscitate order,” which is issued if you declare that you do not want any kind of extreme medical procedures done on your behalf.
Second question: how frequently should these documents be updated?
“You just don’t want to have them prepared and have them sit on a shelf for years and years,” said Schiestel.
Schiestel recommends re-looking at these documents when major events happen, such as a birth in the family, a death, marriage or divorce.
He also recommends looking at these documents every 3-5 years, just in case.
“There may have been someone in our lives (when the document was written) that is no longer,” said Schiestel.
“Or maybe a better person has come along.”
It’s best to keep these documents as up to date as possible and not let them sit on a shelf.