Estate plans have an important role. They protect you when you’re at your most vulnerable. In fact, one of the most valuable reasons to have an estate plan is to plan for your own needs.

While most people think of estate plans as ways to establish what they want to leave behind for their loved ones, they should also think about them as ways to protect themselves if they’re hurt or impaired in a way that does not allow them to make decisions on their own behalf.

Use your estate plan for protection

You can use your estate plan for protection, designating a health care proxy or power of attorney to make medical and financial decisions for you.

When you’re deciding on who to appoint as your health care proxy or power of attorney in Melbourne, it’s best to sit down with those you are considering and ask them if they are willing to take on the role. If so, you should have them learn more about what’s involved and what they will need to do to help you protect yourself or your estate in the future.

Why is it important to appoint a health care proxy?

Without a health care proxy, what happens to you in an emergency may depend on the preferences of your spouse or next closest member of kin. Your medical provider may make decisions without your input, hoping to do what’s in your best interests.

Fortunately, if you have a health care proxy appointed, that person will know what you want to see happen if you’re seriously hurt or disabled. They can let others know your wishes and make sure they’re carried out accordingly.

Why have a power of attorney (POA?)

A POA has the ability to help you with your finances when you can’t control them on your own. For example, if you are disabled or have a memory loss issue, your POA can help by paying your bills and managing your financial accounts. Without this person in place, your finances could end up in disarray, or you could be taken advantage of.

Everyone can benefit from having an estate plan, no matter how old they are. Plan ahead for injury, disability or death with an estate plan that has protections in place to prevent you from being taken advantage of or having others violate your true wishes based on their perceived notions of what you’d choose to do in various situations.