Living Will Advance Directives

Now more than ever, estate owners are planning living will directives to cover end-of-life expenses with their own assets. Living will advance directives specify election of medical procedures and healthcare proxy required for making informed consent decisions after a person has become incapacitated. Planned giving specialists working with an estate owner in the interest of nonprofit charitable giving strategy who has been in an accident or subsequently become incapacitated, can benefit from knowledge about the five (5) types of advance directives accorded “end of life” actions undertaken by a will appointed trustee.

1. Advance Directives

The election of advance will directives is intended to fulfill a person’s wishes for specified medical treatment and end-of-life care. Informed consent agreements require advance directives in lieu of direct consent. A written living Will assists in this process, by stipulating procedural election, as well as appointment of a guardian or trustee, and physician healthcare proxy once the originator is deemed incapacitated to act on their own behalf.

Example is a person expected to die soon with lawful option of court ordered physician-assisted-suicide. Some state jurisdictions provide for euthanasia related advance directives for terminally ill patients within their laws. “End of life” directives can be created in a “Letter of Final Instruction” or “Disposition Authorization,” with instructions for attorney representation, notice of family members, funeral and burial arrangements, and organ donation if a “Living Will” is not present. A “Designated Agent” may also be identified to administer those arrangements.

2. Trustee Directives

The transfer of durable power of attorney (“DPOA”) to a guardian or trustee appointed by the authority of living will, is meant to represent a patient’s medical informed consent decision. Trustee directives may be modified within “estate documentation” according to the consent of the person whom the living will concerns. Living will and all other estate documentation related to trustee directives should be in conformance with federal and state statutory rules and limitations of the jurisdiction where they are held and filed with the court.

3. Document Directives

Certified copies of a death certificate are often required to perform transactions and complete administration of a trust. Trustees generally require notarized copy of a decedent’s death certificate for estate authorization of final asset transfers from a living will to beneficiaries. Death certification is required for distributions from annuities, life insurance policies, and veterans’ survivor benefits as well. Deeds, titles, insurance policies; financial accounts; promissory notes and loans; designated user and passwords of personal or business accounts online; tax records; business interests; and legal documentation (i.e., birth certificates, social security card, driver’s license, passport, immigration registration, military service papers, marriage license, domestic partnership registration, and community property arrangements) are part of the scope of document directives considered in formation or transfer of estate or living trust assets at the end of a person’s life.

5. Practical Directives

Estate documentation may also include what are called “practical directives” instructing a executor to take care of and secure pets, personal and residential property on the premises of a decedent’s home immediately after they pass. Practical directives may also include contacting the post office and other delivery services, and cancelation of utilities, cable TV, internet, and mobile phone services to cease unwanted expenses assigned to an estate and avoid creditor attachment that might accrue as result.

6. Notice of Death Directives

Finally, living trust and living will directives part of an estate usually require executor or trustee notification of family heirs and other named beneficiaries, as well as the decedent’s attorney responsible for oversight of trust distribution of assets. Notice of death should be given according to decedent instructions given before death. The requirements of notice of a decedent’s death, ensure that survivor benefits from annuities, insurance, pension fund and other assets are reviewed and transferred on behalf of the estate’s inheriting beneficiaries.

Advance directives specify election of end-of-life requirements for medical care and other key concerns to be made on behalf of the person whom the living will or trust concerns.

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