UBP blog

07/20/2009

Will preparation and health care proxy; two services employees need to know about

Everyone needs to know about wills and healthcare proxies. These documents are there to ensure that, in the event of an untimely severe illness, injury or death, all important decisions are taken care of for you in a way that you’d want them to be made.

Many carriers offer free will preparation services that help you create, execute and store your will.  A healthcare proxy is an important legal document that employees should know about and complete.

The following will tell you a little bit more about what will preparation and the healthcare proxy are and why they are important for your employees.

Will Preparation Services:

Will preparation services are there to help you create two important types of wills, your simple will and your living will. You create your simple will to designate and ensure who will get access to your property and all other financial assets, who will become the guardian of your children and who will manage your estate.

Your living will allows you to specify in advance your end-of-life decisions and name a health care surrogate to make medical decisions on your behalf in the event that you are unable to do so. This document will help you ensure that your wishes are being carried out, for instance, when deciding whether you will be on artificial life support should you become terminally ill, are in an irreversible coma or in a vegetative state.

Healthcare Proxy:

The healthcare proxy is a simple, yet important legal document that everyone should have even if they are perfectly healthy. Under Massachusetts healthcare proxy law (Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 201D), “any competent adult 18 years of age or over” may complete this document and appoint someone to be their Health Care Agent.

The Health Care Agent you appoint becomes authorized to make healthcare decisions on your behalf in the event that you’re unable to make them yourself. When this happens, your Agent’s decisions regarding your healthcare will have the same authority as yours would (if you were able to make them) and will be honored over those of any other person. If you give your Agent full authority to act for you, he or she may refuse or consent to any medical treatment for you, including treatment that would keep you alive.

Your Agent’s decisions will be on your explicit wishes or his/her assessment of your wishes, so it’s vital that you communicate with your Agent and inform them of decisions you’d want them to make for various situations.

Not sure if your providers offer will preparation services? Just give us a call at (617) 859-1777 for a list of providers that we know offer them.

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