Do Not Wait for a Health Crisis to Create an Estate Plan.

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KS and MO Attorney Kyle E Krull

Written by Kyle Krull

Attorney & Counsellor at Law Kyle Krull is president of the Law Offices of Kyle E. Krull, P.A., an Estate Planning Law Firm located in Overland Park, KS. Estate Planning Attorney Kyle Krull has provided continuing education instruction to attorneys, accountants, and financial professionals at local, state, and national programs.

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POSTED ON: July 9, 2024

Having an estate plan in place prior to a health crisis can protect your wishes.

Estate planning should be in place before a health crisis.

Although a healthy lifestyle can prevent or postpone many significant health problems, genetics, and environmental factors can still impact health.

After all, you cannot fool your gene pool.

Even young elite athletes can suddenly find themselves suffering from a strange cancer or an out-of-the-blue heart condition.

Because not all medical issues are under your complete control, you should take action to prepare for a health crisis.

The best way to protect yourself and your loved ones amid such unfortunate circumstances is through estate planning.

A health crisis can leave family reeling.

A health crisis can strike at any time.

What are the Risks of Delaying Estate Planning?

Estate planning is something people commonly ignore until they need it.

While some situations allow people to react to adverse events, estate planning is often too late when a health crisis strikes.

Failing to create an estate plan in advance could result in losing control of healthcare decisions, assets, and even minor children.


If your health crisis leads to incapacity, your loved ones may need to petition the courts for authority to manage your finances or make medical decisions on your behalf.

Should your illness lead to death, your loved ones could spend years navigating probate and the intestacy laws of your state.

Common Barriers to Estate Planning

While many people neglect estate planning because they do not understand its importance, a study by found that people often delay for reasons beyond ignorance.

What are some of these common excuses?

Lack of assets. 

When people do not believe they have significant wealth, they may see little purpose in deciding who would inherit what little might remain when they die.

Complicated process. 

Some people have anxiety about the estate planning process.

They do not know where to begin and believe it will be too confusing for them.

No beneficiaries. 

For individuals who are unmarried or have no children, often no heirs come to mind.

Other priorities. 

Life is filled with urgent issues.

Estate planning often gets delayed due to more immediate concerns.

When to Start Estate Planning?

Many mistakenly believe estate planning is only for those who are old.

According to ElderLawAnswers, anyone 18 or older should create an estate plan.

Young adults with little to their name still benefit from having a basic last will and testament and an advance health care directive should a health crisis arise.

You will be more prepared for life's challenges by estate planning early.

What are the Essential Estate Planning Documents?

While more complex planning involves using a trust, everyone should have at least the most essential documents.

What documents should everyone have?

Last Will and Testament. 

A last will is vital if you die unexpectedly.

This document lets you choose your heirs and guardians for your minor children.

General Durable Power of Attorney. 

A general durable power of attorney is essential should a health crisis merely lead to incapacity.

This document enables you to select someone to make financial decisions if you cannot do so yourself.

Advance Health Care Directive. 

An advance health care directive functions similarly to a general durable power of attorney, but it addresses authority over medical decisions.

Health Care Treatment Directive. 

A health care treatment directive (i.e., what we prefer in our estate planning practice in place of a "living will") allows you to outline your preferences and wishes for healthcare treatments and end-of-life care.

Do not Wait for a Health Crisis.

Estate planning is critical to protecting yourself, your loved ones, and your assets, and it should not be ignored.

If you do not know where to begin, you can request a consultation with Harvest Law KC.

Key Takeaways for Preparing for a Health Crisis.

Estate planning allows you to have a legal say in who would care for your orphaned children, make your medical decisions, or control your assets should you die or become incapacitated.

Because you have made these decisions in advance, your loved ones will not be stuck trying to navigate the courts to help you.

Additionally, your assets can be protected from court fees or avoidable taxes.

Ultimately, estate planning gives you peace of mind, knowing you have done what you can to protect everyone you love and everything you have.

This post is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal advice. You should contact an attorney for advice concerning any particular issue or problem. Nothing herein creates an attorney-client relationship between Harvest Law KC and the reader.

References: Caring (2024) "2024 Wills and Estate Planning Study -" and ElderLawAnswers (April 5th, 2023) "Don't Wait Until You're Sick to Create an Estate Plan"

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