• Life Planning

    Asked by legaljen1969 on Tuesday, May 26, 2020

    Life Planning

    I know it's a subject that people don't like to think about. I know some people feel that planning for end of life might hasten the process, or invite trouble. I was always hesitant to plan for eventualities, but after seeing friends and family have to fight legal battles over how to best help their loved ones, I felt it was important to have my wishes and desires spelled out and communicated with those who might need to know.
    I know everyone has their own thoughts and ideas on this. My experience is that these are decisions that really are more easily made when you are not doing a "game time decision." It takes the burden off of you to make these decisions while you can think through them, and it relieves your loved ones of having to make hard decisions when things become an emergency. I know hospitals often have offices to help you with this, but their interest is "risk management" and not to convey your desires. Please be proactive. It's up to you. Make your desires known.

    9 Answers from the Community

    9 answers
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      I agree. Most of the arrangements we have had to make for family were after death. Its really not the best time.

      about 1 month ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      You are right. No one knows when their last breath is going to be - having things already done is a great idea.

      about 1 month ago
    • Teachertina's Avatar
      Teachertina

      Preplanning is such a great idea. No one has to disagree about how things will happen when the time comes. Hospice was a wonderful resource when we had family members at end of life. They helped us with so many things to make sure things were done as requested. Having a DNR and Power of Attorney along with a Will makes things much easier for all involved! It sets my mind at ease to know these things are in place for me!

      about 1 month ago
    • legaljen1969's Avatar
      legaljen1969

      In the interest of full disclosure, I am NOT trying to solicit business but I work for an estate planning attorney. We see so many people come in or call us when their loved one is knocking on death's door and they are trying to get the hospital to let them make end of life decisions and they have no authority to do so. Some may be relatives, but not necessarily the "next of kin" recognized by the hospital. If the patient was brought in to the hospital incapacitated, it may be that whoever helped get them admitted did not know the right people to list as decision makers OR maybe they want to be the decision maker and cut others out. Either way, it can be really sad and get really ugly. Before working in estate planning, I worked in a domestic practice so I have seen most of the ugly family/next of kin situations that a person can see.
      I updated my Will and Power of Attorney on the day my biopsy revealed I had cancer. Granted, I was told mine was very treatable and my prognosis was very good. However, I knew I was going to be anesthetized at least once. I didn't want to take any chances. The medical provisions of my Power of Attorney have been provided to ALL of my providers through this journey so that my intentions are clear.
      I cannot practice law, as I am not a licensed attorney. I can, however, encourage you to seek someone knowledgeable who can help you get these documents in order. If you don't have a lot of assets, a Will and Power of Attorney are pretty inexpensive to have prepared by a knowledgeable person.
      I would rather have the documents sitting in my drawer for fifty more years and never need them than be in dire straits and incapable of signing and conveying my wishes.

      about 1 month ago
    • beachbum5817's Avatar
      beachbum5817

      My husband and I had our wills done years ago when our children minors. It was good to have done them when we were both healthy. Fortunately, we didn't need them at the time. When we found out that my husband's cancer was terminal, it was a great comfort to me to have all of these documents. I knew just what his wishes were. I now need to make it a priority to get my will and related documents updated.

      about 1 month ago
    • BobsProstate's Avatar
      BobsProstate

      We had our arrangements planned and pre-paid. It's much less expensive that way and doesn't leave all the planning and financial burden to our kids or to a surviving spouse.

      about 1 month ago
    • JaneA's Avatar
      JaneA

      Before my first chemo, we updated our wills, got durable power of attorney set up, and did medical directives. I communicated my wishes about life support and DNR. That was almost six years ago, and I'm still here. But all of the paperwork is still applicable and takes care of unforeseen medical emergencies.

      about 1 month ago
    • legaljen1969's Avatar
      legaljen1969

      @beachbum- please do make it a priority. I am gathering from your first line that your children are no longer minors. I feel certain that some of your provisions have changed. One of those being that I strongly suspect your wills listed each other as first choice executor for one another. Are all of your alternate executors still alive and willing to serve?
      For what it's worth, many states now recognize a pretty universal power of attorney that covers healthcare decisions, end of life decisions and such as that all in one document. I know for many, they had (and may still have) a Power of Attorney, Medical Power of Attorney, Living Will, DNR all as separate documents.

      This is the last I am going to say unless people ask me specific questions. I do think it's a worthwhile discussion so people do think about these things. It's worth thinking about even if you don't have cancer.

      about 1 month ago
    • beachbum5817's Avatar
      beachbum5817

      @legaljen, The alternate people are still living, but I do plan to get it redone. The ironic part is that my daughter-in-law is an attorney, so I have no excuses not to get it done. I appreciate your post to bring this to the forefront of my mind. This is one example of what I like best about WhatNext. Take care.

      about 1 month ago

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