According to the Mayo Clinic, nearly three-quarters of Americans eventually find themselves in a medical situation where they are unable to communicate their wishes regarding health care to their providers. Both young and older persons encounter this problem. Fortunately, having an advance directive can help clarify your wishes so that providers know what steps to take when this happens.
According to a recent Los Angeles Times article, less than one-third of Americans make their health care wishes known prior to a critical illness or injury. Regardless of what your actually health care wishes are, that can be a problem.
Advance health care directives are a wonderful tool for preparing for incapacity, and to ensure that your personal care and medical treatment are handled the way you would want them to be. Our readers are familiar with the major stories that come out now and again where a family cannot agree on the wishes of an incapacitated patient. A health care directive is also an important way to avoid such conflicts.
Are readers are already familiar with the uncertain state of estate planning beyond 2013. Currently, the federal estate tax is set to go through some changes in 2013 unless action is taken before then. That means that until 2013, individuals are not subject to federal estate tax unless their estate exceeds $5 million, or they may give up to $5 million in gifts without paying federal gift tax. That amount is $10 million for couples.
In our previous post, we began looking at basic reasons for adults to think about estate planning, even young unmarried adults. As we noted, this week is National Estate Planning Awareness Week, and it is as good a time as any to start thinking about getting the wheels turning about how you wish to order your estate, if you haven't done so already.
Our Alpharetta readers may be interested to know that this week is National Estate Planning Awareness Week. Yes, such a thing does exist. As is probably obvious, one of the major goals of the awareness campaign is to encourage folks to begin thinking about and taking steps toward getting their estate in order. And that applies to everybody, not just seniors.
According to a recent study conducted by researchers from Harvard University and Dartmouth Medical School, one-fifth of Medicare nursing home patients suffering from advanced Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia were placed in hospitals and nursing homes during the last few months of their lives for questionable reasons.