A common scenario in our office is children coming in after the death of a parent, and the children continue to worry if they made the right choice(s) for the parent at the end of his or her life. Oftentimes a person will have designated a Healthcare Power of Attorney, but the parent did not give specifics on preferences for end-of-life care.
That is why we have developed a system of healthcare tools that will walk you through a variety of scenarios so that your Healthcare Power of Attorney is not left guessing if they made the right choice.
The 4 Health Care Tools Included in Our Plans:
1. Living Will Scenarios
A living will describes how you want to be cared for while you are still alive. However, most people think a living will is a “pull-the-plug” document, but it is so much more than that. Many people have a living will that mentions “end-of-life situations” and “life-sustaining measures” with no clarity as to what these phrases actually mean to the person signing the living will. What you consider an “end-of-life situation” might be different from another person’s definition.
We know that your family may have to tackle some major healthcare decisions and rely on your living will as a guide to making those decisions. That is why our Living Will Scenarios walk you through a variety of scenarios to help you think through what you would or would not want to be done. We also walk you through possible “life-sustaining measures” and which ones are invasive versus noninvasive. For example, antibiotics can be considered a noninvasive life-sustaining treatment because they are often used as a comfort care measure to reduce the likelihood of things like bed sores if you are bed-bound.
We have designed our Living Will Scenarios to ensure that your family knows what your wishes are if they ever have to make those decisions for you.
2. Letter of Instruction to Healthcare Agent
With developments in modern medicine, we are living longer than ever before, but that comes with the trade-off of having a higher likelihood of living some period of our life incapacitated due to aging or physical or cognitive impairment. When you become incapacitated, your healthcare agent has to step in and make all sorts of healthcare decisions on your behalf. There is often a lack of direction for healthcare agents when you are not considered healthy but also not in an end-of-life situation.
Our Letter of Instruction to Your Healthcare Agent is designed to help walk your agent through the decisions that come before an end-of-life situation. We have seen a lot of issues come up for families when a family member needs healthcare decisions made for them, and we used those issues to develop a system that helps you think about different situations that may come up and help give your family some meaningful guidance about your wishes.
Our goal is to make things easier for your healthcare agent so that he or she is not left second-guessing whether they made the decision you would have made as well as reduce the likelihood of any family disagreements. We have seen situations where other family members are second-guessing the healthcare agent’s decisions, and we hope to avoid that kind of situation altogether.
3. Dementia Directives
No one likes thinking about the possibility of developing dementia, but it is something that should not be ignored. As we are living longer, the likelihood of developing dementia at some point in our lifetime increases, and developing dementia brings additional healthcare decisions that have to be made.
Our Dementia Directives walk you through varying levels of severity and what you would want to be done based on the severity of your disease. We want to ensure that your family is prepared and that they know what your wishes are if that were to happen to you.
4. Instructions for Final Arrangements
Making final arrangements can be a stressful process for loved ones. Families are still trying to process the loss while also trying to figure out what you would want your final arrangements to look like. Instead of leaving family members guessing what you might want, you can utilize our Instructions for Final Arrangements tool to tell them exactly what you want.
Our instructions for Final Arrangements tool was developed so that you can be as detailed as you’d like–down to the music you want to be played at a service or what clothing you want to be wearing if you wish to be buried.
Having these instructions written down is critical to family harmony. It’s easy for family members to disagree on what you would want when nothing is written down, but by giving them specific instructions on what you want your final arrangements to be, you have eliminated the possibility of those disagreements.
At Carolina Family Estate Planning, we want to make things as easy as possible for your family & eliminate as much guilt, self-doubt, or family disagreement as possible. Our team takes an all-inclusive approach to our clients' long-term care and estate planning. We focus on building relationships with our clients, offering sound legal advice and expertise to help you make the best decisions for your family.
Check out our free guide, How to Tell Loved Ones What You'd Like to Happen, and contact us at Carolina Family Estate Planning at 919-443-3035 in Cary, North Carolina, to begin the estate planning process today.