Physicians in Iowa and beyond should be aware of the importance of estate planning. Estate planning can involve drafting a will, naming a health care proxy and choosing someone to have power of attorney. Without proper estate planning, an individual’s assets could be distributed unevenly after they die. They might also have nobody to make medical and financial decisions for them if they’re incapacitated, which can lead to unforeseen consequences. For these reasons, it’s important for physicians to plan out their estates and periodically review their documentation to make sure it stays up to date.

The importance of estate planning

One of the most important parts of estate planning is writing a will. If an individual dies without a will, the state decides how their assets will be distributed, which can have a negative impact on family members. Only immediate family members will receive parts of the estate, and the division is decided according to state laws. It’s important that physicians write a will and keep it updated so that their assets can be distributed according to their wishes when they die.

Another important part of estate planning involves making decisions in the event that the person is incapacitated. An individual can write a living will, which specifies the way they should be treated if they have certain medical conditions. They can also nominate a health care proxy who will make medical decisions for them. Similarly, they can nominate someone for power of attorney so that a specified person has the power to make financial or legal decisions while they’re unable to do so.

Where to go for help with estate planning

A physician who needs help with estate planning, such as naming someone for power of attorney or drafting a living will, might wish to speak with an attorney. An attorney may be able to help them plan their estate and distribute their assets accordingly.