Document health records and information

Plan for the Future

Settling outstanding medical debt is an important part of settling an estate.

To make this process easier for the executor of your estate, keep health records and information organized.

Helpful Tips


Powers of attorney can be given to someone as either financial or medical in nature when you are unable to make decisions for yourself.

A medical power of attorney allows another person to make medical decisions for you if you are incapacitated and unable to speak for yourself.

Examples of medical decisions include your healthcare team, what medicines you should take, and what procedures you should undergo.

Without specific instructions, a medical POA will give full authority to that appointed agent to speak to your doctors, determine where you receive care, and make other important healthcare decisions.

You can also create a specific medical power of attorney that allows someone to make healthcare decisions about your care. Make sure your chosen agent knows your medical wishes and that you can trust this person to make decisions with those wishes in mind.


When you appoint someone as your healthcare proxy or medical power of attorney agent, you can give them specific or general authority.

Regardless of whether you give specific or general powers, make sure your chosen agent is someone who you can trust to follow your directions and preferences if and when the time comes. Discuss which powers you’d like your agent to have with your estate planning lawyer.

You can also determine under which circumstances the agent is allowed to act.

For example, you might give your agent permission to make healthcare decisions if you:

  • Were under general anesthesia
  • Have dementia
  • Experienced an incident or illness like a stroke that left you unable to communicate
  • Had an accident that left you in an unconscious state

Personal Considerations


Do you have a living will?


Make sure the people responsible for making decisions for you know where this document can be found.


Consider getting one drafted.


If you have a living will:

Make sure the people responsible for making decisions for you know where this document can be found.

If you do not have a living will:

Consider getting one drafted.


Have you designated a medical power of attorney?


Make sure this person is comfortable serving in that capacity and that they know your preferred wishes.

Let them know where to locate important documents related to your medical care in the event that you become incapacitated.

Guides_Icon.svgRead More For more information, please review the “Document end of life care wishes” and "Designate Medical Power of Attorney or Healthcare Proxy" tasks.


Consider naming one.

Without a medical power of attorney, your family members might have to go to court to be appointed to serve as your guardian/conservator.

This adds further stress to a healthcare crisis, but can also slow down the process of making important decisions.

Guides_Icon.svgRead More For more information, please review the “Document end of life care wishes” and "Designate Medical Power of Attorney or Healthcare Proxy" tasks.


If you have designated a medical power of attorney:

Make sure this person is comfortable serving in that capacity and that they know your preferred wishes.

Let them know where to locate important documents related to your medical care in the event that you become incapacitated.

Guides_Icon.svgRead More For more information, please review the “Document end of life care wishes” and "Designate Medical Power of Attorney or Healthcare Proxy" tasks.

If you have not designated a medical power of attorne:

Consider naming one.

Without a medical power of attorney, your family members might have to go to court to be appointed to serve as your guardian/conservator.

This adds further stress to a healthcare crisis, but can also slow down the process of making important decisions.

Guides_Icon.svgRead More For more information, please review the “Document end of life care wishes” and "Designate Medical Power of Attorney or Healthcare Proxy" tasks.


Plan for the Future