Sometimes, it is hard for us to imagine that there will ever be a time when we will be incapacitated or unable to make our thoughts or wishes known to those around us. But for anyone with a family or loved ones to protect, or strong feelings as to what will happen to you if you become incapacitated, it is vitally important to have, in place, something referred to as an Advance Directive.
An advance directive is an individual's written instructions as to one's future medical care and treatment, done in "advance" of any incident or need. By stating your health care choices in an advance directive, you help your family and physician fully understand your wishes about your medical care. It is important that you work with an experienced Indiana Advance Directive Attorney to be certain that your wishes are made legal: Indianapolis, Indiana Estate Planning Lawyer Barbara J. Baird has the experience and knowledge you require to make sure your wishes are carried out.
An advance directive may name a person of your choice to make health care choices for you if you cannot make the choices for yourself, or you may use an advance directive to prevent certain individuals from making health care decisions for you. Advance directives are only used if you become incapacitated; as long as you are able to decide and express your own decisions, your advance directives will not be used. The circumstances for an advance directive are if either you are unable to communicate or your physician has assessed that you no longer have the mental competence to make choices.
If you do not have an advance directive in place and are unable to choose medical care or treatment, Indiana law decides who can do this for you. Indiana law allows any member of your immediate family or a person appointed by an Indiana court to make healthcare choices for you. If you want to be certain that whatever happens to you is decided by YOU, it is vital to contact an Indiana Advance Directive Lawyer to draw up an advance directive that clear up any mystery about your wishes. Contact Attorney Barbara J. Baird at her Indianapolis office at 317-637-2345.
We live in a world of constant communication: email, Facebook, and Twitter are simply a few ways that people let the world know their every thought and feeling. Why should this be exclusive to life? For those who wish to communicate to their loved ones after death, there are more and more precedents being set for individuals to leave messages to their friends and families. Indiana will and trust lawyer Barbara J. Baird has experience assisting clients create wills and trusts that follow their wishes, and in the digital age, those wishes are becoming increasingly digitized themselves.
Even Facebook is jumping on the estate planning bandwagon. You can decide now if you want your Facebook account deleted upon your death or memorialized for friends and family to share memories. You can also name a Legacy Contact who can share a final message on your behalf, respond to new friend requests, update your profile picture and cover photo or request removal of your account.
There are other services that allow individuals to send out messages to their loved ones after death or to pass on access to your digital accounts upon your death. Current examples include knotify.me, lastwords2love, or leg8cy. The extent of services varies with each provider. With all of the services, your set of instructions is carried out. These instructions might be anything from delivering the message of your death to other loved ones, or it might be to deliver keys or passwords to your house or bank accounts. The possibilities for how to delineate responsibility to one=s loves ones after death are endless.
These services are useful for relaying news of your death in a quick manner, and relieving your spouse or partner of the grim task of having to notify others of your death. However, it does not replace the legal function of creating wills, trusts and guardianships. In order to properly and legally arrange for your estate after your death, you need a skilled and experienced Indiana lawyer to ensure that your wishes are followed. Your attorney should also review any material that you intend to post digitally to ensure that it does not conflict with your written estate plan and provide grounds for a probate or trust dispute.