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Estate Document Checklist

November 17, 2022

Jill was reading about estate documents.  There is a newer, additional form that many people may not be aware of called POLST which stands for Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment.

This may sound redundant to an Advance Directive but it isn’t. With an executed POLST (has to also be signed by the doctor), it is added to your medical chart. It moves with the patient should you be moved from one health care facility to another.

According to AARP, advance directives (living wills) are legal documents completed while someone is healthy. AARP further claims that POLST is for a “serious diagnosis is known and the patient makes their treatment choices known.”

I’m not sure you have to receive a serious diagnosis to complete a POLST form. On Jill’s last physical with her doctor, she was given a POLST form to complete and return. She is part of the MarinHealth group that is aligned with UCSF. They wanted one for her medical file. Perhaps it was because of her age (72) but if she is being handed a form at a check-up, it seems this document is becoming a standard for your medical file.

Other estate documents to consider (keep them updated):*

  • Will and/or Pour Over Will
  • Revocable Trust
  • Living Will / Advance Directive
  • Durable Power of attorney for Health Care
  • Durable Power of Attorney for Financial Affairs
  • Do Not Resuscitate Order (DNR)
  • Anatomical Election
  • Nomination of Conservator/Guardian if appropriate

We are always available if you would like to discuss your estate.

*Some names may be slightly different depending upon the law firm and the state.


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