Denny Welch is one of the attorneys I work with and actually, he is the very first one I worked with. His website for more information is after the article. This is not meant to be technical but to get you to think about end of life issues.
The trust is just the tip of the iceberg. Equally as important, in my opinion, is the power of attorney for health care, better known as the Advance Healthcare Directive.
My wife has been an oncology nurse for a long time. We’ve been married for a long time, and we talk. I get the image of the family in the hospital corridor when the doctor walks out of the patient room. “Well, folks, there’s nothing else we can do. What do you want us to do?” It’s like the deer being caught in the headlight. Nobody knows what to do, because they’ve never talked about it. Even if they did, no one has the legal authority to make a decision because there’s nothing in writing.
The Advance Healthcare Directive allows you to make a decision today on what you want done if you were that person in the hospital bed. You can make that decision today while you are still in good health and have a clear mind and a clear purpose on what’s best for you. By making that choice today, you are taking the onus away from your loved ones on what you want done. Your desires can be as specific as you want.
Most of us feel that “when my time’s up, my time’s up. ” If all the quality of life indicators are gone, and to a medical certainty they aren’t going to come back, then, under those circumstances, “keep me comfortable and keep me pain free, but don’t keep me alive just because science says you can.” But no one would know that, or have the authority to act, if you hadn’t gotten your ducks in a row.
Donald D. Welch is an Estate Planning Attorney servicing the Northern California region. To find out more about Estate Planning, please visit www.dennywelch.com.