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Is a crucial document missing from your estate plan?

When most people in Arizona think of estate plans, they probably think of them in terms of making a plan to distribute assets at the end of life. This, of course, is indeed one of the main goals of any given estate plan. However, these plans should probably be thought of more as "worst-case scenario" plans that include other documents in addition to wills and trusts.

One scenario that no one ever wants to face, but that many do, is the need for medical care when the person's receiving the care is unable to specify how they would like the care to be given.

In this type of scenario, a health care directive can be crucial. As a recent news article pointed out, a health care directive provides written instructions for health care providers as to the type of care, and the duration that care should be given, that is preferred by the person making the plan. The health care directive can be included with estate planning documents, and is usually contemplated and drafted at the same time as other estate planning documents.

However, as the recent article mentioned, for the majority of Americans, health care directives are missing from their estate plans. That could be a crucial mistake. The overall age of America's population is rising, as people live longer and take better care of themselves.

But, unfortunately, not everyone will have good health as they get older. Many people suffer both mental and physical decline as they age. A health care directive that is drafted when a person can still make competent decisions can go a long way toward informing loved ones and health care professionals of desired medical treatment.

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