Making Tough Choices for Healthcare and End-of-Life Treatment

An individual should consider carefully who he or she asks to act as Patient Advocate.

Joseph and Frances were in their late 70s and thoroughly enjoying retirement and good health, but they also were reminded from personal experience that they wouldn’t live forever. During the past 10 years, the married couple had visited family and friends who were hospitalized for various illnesses, and they had attended more than their fair share of funerals.

Joe had named Franny as his Patient Advocate through a Durable Power of Attorney-Healthcare, and vice versa for Franny, so they knew they were protected for any immediate needs. But Joe was beginning to notice that Franny had become uncertain with her day-to-day decision making. Joe wondered aloud if she could make medical decisions for him if necessary, and he seriously doubted whether she could truly “pull the plug” if he fell into a coma or vegetative state -- which was his wish.

Read more: Making Tough Choices for Healthcare and End-of-Life Treatment

Life Series V: Wills Need to be Revisited as Life Changes

Adults should review their wills every five years due to changes in life's situations.

Throughout their 20 years of marriage, Harry and Sally spent much of their time taking care of each other and then their three children as they arrived. But during the last two years, they also had to devote energy to caring for Harry’s father who eventually died from Alzheimer’s disease, and then administering the estate he left to the family.

Harry’s father hadn’t touched his will in 10 years -- even after Harry’s mother died -- so much of the document was outdated. Simple changes such as the addition of Harry and Sally’s third child weren’t made in the will, along with adjustments to the situation with Harry’s sister, who had gone through a divorce.

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Can a Younger Child Decide Which Parent to Live With?

The Court may take into consideration the preference of a minor child when it comes to which parent gets physical custody in a divorce proceeding.

Young Sarah was distressed that her parents were getting a divorce, and she did everything she could to try to bring them back together, including being on her best behavior with cleaning her room and doing chores. But when it was clear the divorce would happen, she was faced with the most unpleasant task of all -- deciding which parent she would live with.

Her parents were as conflicted as 12-year-old Sarah regarding the child’s permanent residence. Her father, Martin, thought she should live with him because he provided an even temperament and steady hand when it came to school and sports. Her mother, Molly, thought Sarah should live with her because she needed emotional support and nurturing, particularly during this stressful period in her life.

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Can We Set Different Child Support Payments from What the Court Recommends?

Toburen Law helps with changes to child support payments that deviate from the Michigan Child Support Formula.

High school seniors Bob and Jamie dated for a few months and broke up, only to find out weeks later that Jamie was pregnant with Bob’s child. Over their parents’ objections, they tried to smooth over their differences by getting married soon after graduation. After two years of marriage, the couple divorced when it became clear they weren’t compatible in the long run.

While Bob and Jamie fought over a number of issues while they were married, the divorce was amicable as both loved their daughter. Jamie knew Bob would try hard to help care for their child, but she also knew he was struggling to make ends meet with his new job. Jamie decided she could accept reduced child support payments to help Bob get established. She also knew that Bob’s child support payments could be increased later as his financial situation improved.

Read more: Can We Set Different Child Support Payments from What the Court Recommends?

Mike Toburen - Attorney at Law   

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Attorney Mike Toburen

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