Believe it or not, most people are more reluctant to plan for incapacity than death. More individuals can accept death but not incapacity. They can accept the graveyard but not the nursing home. When I asked one elder male client why he knew he would never go to a nursing home he responded , “because of my .45 caliber pistol I keep in my chest of drawers”. Okay, but what if you have a stroke and can’t pull the trigger. Incapacity, physical and mental, must be addressed in your documents. Why wouldn’t you want to determine where you lived and who would care for you post-stroke or other incapacitating event?
Then why don’t you indicate in your Living Trust and an Advance Health Care Directive (AHCD) all of the details and specifics for your care? We provide an attachment to our AHCD that includes twelve (12) medical procedures in four (4) different states of mind. You make the decision to choose the procedures or not in your present state of mind. If you lose capacity, your agent in your AHCD merely follows your directions with the medical providers. Thus, you relieve them of the burden of making those difficult medical decisions under stressful circumstances.
If you won’t do it for yourself, do it for your family. There is enough stress when a family member loses capacity. Now the family members must attempt to determine how such person would want to be cared for when there are no documents present.
Make a point of including your desires in your estate plan then discuss it with your Successor Trustee and agent in your AHCD. Make sure a copy of your AHCD is included in your medical file with your primary physician. It’s important to TAKE CONTROL- it’s your LIFE.
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