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Recently, I visited a local assisted living facility that handles 35 patients in each location, with locations throughout the country. I often meet with administrators of these type of nursing care establishments to best explain to my clients what their options may be, either in the immediate future or down the road, for themselves and/or for family members.

During my tour, the facilitator for the entire region complained of one major problem when admitting new individuals to their facilities: the lack of proper estate planning undertaken by new patients. Most people do not realize the importance of having durable powers of attorney, health care surrogate designations and the like prepared PRIOR to entering an assisted living center. Failing to provide the administrators with the necessary paperwork prevents staff from contacting the proper individuals in a case of emergency or just to help with filing the necessary documents on behalf of a client.

Do not delay and do your basic estate planning today: a durable power of attorney, health care surrogate designation and HIPAA should be the minimum that each adult should execute for their own well-being!!

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