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New Year's Resolution: Protect your family in 2013 and beyond

A New Year is just around the corner. For 2013, most individuals in the Los Angeles area are focusing on resolutions that largely impact themselves: losing weight, starting that book, eating better and goals of a similar nature. While these are all noble pursuits, it is certainly worthwhile to think about better protecting an individual's family in 2013 as well. Regardless of age or how often an individual exercises, the unthinkable can still happen. Are you prepared? Does your family know your health care wishes? Would your family be financially protected in the event of the unthinkable?

All of these are important questions. At times, it can be difficult to answer these questions because that means entertaining the idea that something terrible can happen. However, these decisions do not need to be cast in a negative light. It can help a family to view these conversations and decisions as preparing, just in case. If the unthinkable does occur, it will be a large burden off the shoulders of loved ones when the wishes of an individual are clearly laid out.

A possible goal to consider as a resolution for the New Year is creating an Advance Health Care Directive with a legal expert. An AHCD can encompass documents that will appoint individuals to make financial decisions, and medical decisions in the event that an individual becomes incapacitated. Further, these documents can greatly assist medical professionals in ensuring that an individual receives the medical treatment they desire.

There are many websites that offer free assistance with documents of this nature, but when it comes to your health and the protection of your loved ones, do you really want to leave that up to a free service that may not be legally enforceable? Working with the assistance of a lawyer can ensure that an individual and their loved ones are protected in the event of the unthinkable in 2013 and beyond.

Source: The St. Louis American, "Resolve to Be Financially Secure in 2013," Jason Alderman, Dec. 27, 2012