5 End of Life Planning Documents Everyone Needs

Five Life & Death Documents Everyone Needs

By Catherine Hammond, Esq.

Mounds of paperwork. Mounting losses in hours missed from work and money spent in legal fees. Because it involved the conservatorship and guardianship of my mother: simply heart-wrenching. I was 22 and my mother as I knew her was gone, taken by early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease. I had no choice but to surrender her care to a nursing home. It brought up conflict in my family and 20 years later ended in a mess of end-of-life decisions that I wasn’t prepared to make.

The WHY of proper estate planning

The worst case scenario is not always death, as happened with my mother. Without proper preparation, your family—overwhelmed by the loss of a loved one right before their eyes—will instead be thrust into the process of living probate, unnecessary family conflict, and having to guess what your wishes or intentions were. I see evidence of this every day: failing to plan causes devastating consequences for families.

End of life planning documents are just a piece of estate planning

The exact end of life planning documents you need for a good end of life plan are determined by the combination of your assets, your goals, and your concerns. In fact, this sets Hammond Law Group apart—we listen. While documents are what we produce, it’s the real work of listening to and understanding your goals—mixed with the expertise we have as attorneys who practice exclusively in estate planning, elder law and post death—that goes into document production. Think of Hammond Law Group less as a document production firm and more along the lines of a coach. We are here to get you to where you want to be with your end of life planning. And documents are just the formalization of your planning.

The five end of life planning documents everyone needs

When it comes to documents, though, everybody needs—at a minimum—a Will, Power of Attorney, Healthcare Power of Attorney, Living Will, and Universal HIPAA Release. If you are a homeowner and want to protect your family from the delay, hassles, and costs of probate, or to protect your estate from children who aren’t ready to receive their full inheritance (or their spouses), you may also need a Revocable Living Trust.

Start by attending a free estate planning workshop on wills and living trusts

Our upcoming workshops on Wills and Living Trusts cover essential information on these legal tools which make things easier on your loved ones at the most difficult times in life. Receive a FREE 1-hour Estate Planning Meeting with a Hammond Law Group Attorney within two weeks of attending a workshop ($400 value). These workshops fill up fast. Register today!

Author Bio

Catherine Hammond is the CEO and founder of Hammond Law Group, a Colorado-based estate planning law firm she founded in 2005. With a strong focus on protecting families from the legal consequences of disability and death, she creates comprehensive estate plans that minimize taxes, costs, and government interference.

A native of Denver, Catherine completed her undergraduate studies at Coe College in Iowa, and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Denver College of Law in 1993, concentrating on estate planning, tax, and mediation. Catherine is a member of various professional organizations, including WealthCounsel, ElderCounsel, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the Colorado Springs Estate Planning Council, and the Purposeful Planning Institute. Beyond her legal expertise, Catherine provides transformational coaching to support clients and their families through life transitions.

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