Advanced Healthcare Directive vs. Power of Attorney

Estate & Tax Attorney Stefanie Lipson discuses the differences between using an Advanced Healthcare Directive and Power of Attorney to make sure your personal healthcare wishes are observed
Advanced Healthcare Directive vs Power of Attorney
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Advanced Healthcare Directive vs. Power of Attorney

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So to make sure that your own personal healthcare wishes are observed if you can't specify for yourself at that time, there are really two components that you want to think about. The first is called an advanced healthcare directive, which often you'll hear referred to as a living will. And this is a document where you have the opportunity while you have capacity to specify what healthcare decisions you would want made on your own behalf. Would you like to receive artificial life support in the event that you're determined to have an illness where the rate of survival is probably not more that six months. That's a very specific example, but you can be that specific. You can also specify if you have particular wishes, for example, with things like the gifts of body parts, the donation of body parts, after you've passed away, for what purposes it's okay to use them, whether for research purposes or for only transplantation purposes. And you can even specify if you have particular disposition wishes. For example, would you prefer to be buried, would you like to be cremated, do you have wishes about the ceremony that would take place at that time? You can be as specific as you want. The other component is a power of attorney for healthcare decisions, and this is where you appoint somebody as your agent to make healthcare decisions for you in the event that you can't make them for yourself and in the event that you haven't specified your own wishes. The laws on how to properly execute a power of attorney for healthcare and advanced healthcare directive vary from state to state, so you want to be sure to comply with the laws in your state. As far as making sure that the medical wishes for a minor child are observed, we often recommend that you have on hand what's called a minor medical consent form, and this is a document where you designate an agent to make healthcare decisions for your minor child in the event that you're not around. That could be a grandparent who the child is staying with over the weekend, or it could even be a babysitter who's just home in the afternoons with your child and something comes up while you're unavailable and they can't reach you.

Estate & Tax Attorney Stefanie Lipson discuses the differences between using an Advanced Healthcare Directive and Power of Attorney to make sure your personal healthcare wishes are observed

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Stefanie Lipson

Estate & Tax Attorney

Stefanie J. Lipson is an attorney in the Family Wealth Planning Group of Greenberg, Glusker, Fields, Claman, & Machtinger, LLP.  Stefanie’s practice focuses on comprehensive estate planning for high net worth individuals, family business succession planning, probate and trust administration and the law of tax exempt organizations.  Stefanie counsels her clients with a holistic approach to wealth transfer solutions, structuring plans to meet a family’s individual needs while addressing the complex estate, gift and income tax implications of wealth transfer.  In addition, consistent with Stefanie’s belief that the most effective estate planning begins early, Stefanie has developed an estate planning program designed specifically to meet the planning needs of young families as they encounter common life events. 

Stefanie’s unique approach and application of Trust and Estate law has been well acknowledged by the legal community.  She served as a panelist at the 2010 Southern California Tax and Estate Planning Forum in a discussion involving multijurisdictional issues in estate planning and has authored publications for The Los Angeles Daily Journal and The Recorder.  Stefanie has been listed in Southern California Rising Stars each year since 2009.

Stefanie received her Bachelor of Arts in 2003 from University of California Los Angeles, graduating magna cum laude with the distinction of departmental honors and a member of Phi Beta Kappa.  Stefanie received her J.D. from the University of Southern California Law Center in 2006.  Following her graduation from USC, Stefanie clerked for the Honorable Fred Keiser, Jr. in the New Jersey Superior Court, Family Law Division.  During her time with the court, Stefanie also served as a court appointed mediator for small claims civil matters. 

In furtherance of her estate planning work, Stefanie is currently pursuing a Master of Laws in Taxation (LL.M.) from New York University School of Law.  Stefanie’s studies at NYU focus on estate, gift and income tax matters relating to wealth succession planning and family business ownership.

Stefanie lives in Los Angeles, with her husband Marc and their new son Noah, whom she regards as her greatest achievement.

Guardianship, Wills and Trusts
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