Failure To Maintain Control Of Health Care Decisions
This is the first of the12 Deadly Sins of the Keystone Law Firm Estate Planning seminar. For those who haven’t yet attended it, #1 can be devastating for ANY family if this goes wrong. Families today also look a lot different than they did even 15 or 20 years ago. Many older adults are choosing to partner together rather than formally marry. Others are nontraditional families in which stepchildren are caring for stepparents without the original parent or natural born children around. There are still other people who are in a myriad of other nontraditional unions too. What’s more is estate planning is not a “ONE and DONE” process. Plans must be updated from time to time.
Perspective is a wonderful thing. As life chugs forward, it can be easy to forget about taking care of this kind of business—especially if you are healthy and unburdened by chronic health issues. Below are some examples to help shift your perspective about planning for the unthinkable.
The Following Are Three Painful Planning Missteps That Could Arise If The Proper Planning For Health Care Decisions Is Not Completed:
- Heartbreak is certain when a loved one is forced into a method of treatment that he or she would NEVER have submitted to when in a healthy state. It doesn’t have to happen at all. In a health care proxy or living will, you can spell out your wishes as broadly or as specifically as you like. Your family will not have to wonder what types of treatments you would have wanted. No one will be successful in forcing these treatments on you when you clearly identify these as part of your comprehensive estate plan.
- A stepchild left to help a stepparent after the parent has passed will be powerless in shaping his or her health care continuum without being added officially as a Power of Attorney. This example is likely to be all too common as blended families age and new categories of family members step in to make arrangements and support aging parents. As an estate planning firm, we make our clients fully aware of situations that could arise and help guide their arrangements to reflect their wishes—future and present.
- You may have had many conversations with your child about end of life decision-making, yet we find it is very uncommon that adult children in their 20s and 30s have established an estate plan or a living will. Tragically, if your adult child is in a traumatic motorcycle accident and in a vegetative state, even if you KNOW your child does not wish to be sustained on life support because of the conversations you have had, you don’t get to make those decisions. It’s already a painful situation but can you then imagine the pain of learning he is intubated and sustained artificially? Even though your child is unmarried, at the very least, a living will addresses these matters by removing all of the painful guessing for the family.
Learn more about living wills and estate planning by arranging to attend our complimentary seminar: The 12 Deadly Sins of Estate Planning and How to Avoid Them this month. Click here to choose the seminar that works for you—seating IS limited, so secure yours NOW.