Estate Planning, beyond legal documents. We often talk to our clients about the importance of having a Power of Attorney for assets and an Advance Health Care Directive. These documents name an agent to act on your behalf for your financial affairs and to make your medical decisions in the event you are unable. But what happens in the event of an emergency and you are unable to communicate who you are? Often times if we are in an accident we have our wallet with some form of identification, but not always. Even if you can be identified, how easy is it for first responders or hospital personnel to contact a loved one? If you are one of our clients we sign you up, with your permission, for a one year membership to DocuBank, a service that will store you Advance Health Care Directive. DocuBank will then send you a laminated card, about the size of a driver’s license; you can keep it in your wallet with your identification. The hospital can contact DocuBank and they will provide your Advance Health Care Directive, which lists your agent and their contact information.
Another option is to put ICE (in case of emergency) in your contacts in your cell phone. Sounds funny, but take five minutes to add a spouse, parent, and/or close friend for free peace of mind. According to March 2012 article on CNN, http://articles.cnn.com/2012-03-02/tech/tech_mobile_smartphones-majority-pew-gahran_1_smartphone-cell-phone-android-phone?_s=PM:TECH, 88% of all American adults now carry a cell phone. If you are a DocuBank member, probably not a bad idea to add ICE DocuBank to your contacts. I know a lot of times I will go for a run or walk and I take my cell to listen to music phone (because let’s face it how many us really just talk on our phone anymore? ), but I don’t have my ID with me. I feel better knowing I have planned for the unexpected. Estate planning is not just planning for your death, but planning for your life and what you did not plan for.