couple reviewing estate planning documents

Most people believe that your will is the most significant estate planning document. Yes, you must have a will in order to choose what occurs after your death. But in my day-to-day work, I’m concerned with assisting individuals in living well and with dignity. And I’ve noticed that when people don’t prepare for aging by completing a power of attorney or a living will, their lives may become complex and chaotic.

Many disputes arise when your family is unaware of your intentions and is unable to direct your care. Furthermore, without these documents, which were not prepared prior to a medical crisis, the following step in your care is frequently problematic.

People who have not prepared may end up in a guardianship. Guardianship is a legal process used to safeguard those who are unable to care for themselves due to illness or disability.

A court will appoint a legal guardian to care for an individual who requires special protection. This is when someone is proclaimed a ward of the state. By preparing these important documents, you may easily avoid guardianship.

A power of attorney document is a legal document that grants one person the authority to act on behalf of another. This gives your selected individual broad or limited legal authority to make choices regarding your property, finances, and medical care. It is also utilized when a person’s illness or handicap prohibits them from signing relevant legal documents for financial transactions.

A medical power of attorney is a legal document that gives one person the ability to make difficult decisions for you if your doctor determines that you are unable to make them for yourself.

Your living will is a document that defines your desires for end-of-life care as well as other areas of medical care. And, once again, they are only applicable if you are unable to convey your wishes. 

We also work with our clients at IKOR to prepare a document known as the Five Wishes document. The Five Wishes document is a foundational document that covers your personal, emotional, and spiritual needs, as well as your medical intentions in the event that you become gravely ill. This document is recognized as a legal document in several states, including Pennsylvania.

You can offer extremely detailed guidance to your family and friends about your intentions by working with your personal attorney to prepare these documents. Importantly for you, it does not put them in the tough position of having to make difficult decisions without understanding your intentions. 

At IKOR, we will assist seniors in any of these roles, as well as your family members, in navigating these challenging areas. We will also collaborate with your attorney or financial advisor to encourage discussions about these documents. They manage the legal and financial aspects, while we assist you with your care-related needs, ensuring dignity and quality of life for the duration of your life. 

To learn more about how IKOR can help you with this proactive process, you can contact us toll free at 855-456-7972 or visit our website at