healthcare power of attorney
Making Tough Choices for Healthcare and End-of-Life Treatment
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.
Spouses Don’t Have Automatic Powers of Attorney
Charlie and Sonya thought they were doing well five years into their marriage in regards to their finances and future.
After their wedding, they opened a joint bank account that included automatic deposits of their paychecks, and they named each other as beneficiaries on life insurance policies and 401(k) retirement accounts. Charlie and Sonya also met with a local attorney to draft a Last Will and Testament, but they decided not to spend the money on powers of attorney due to their good health and relatively young age.
Without Children, Who Manages the Estate?
Josh and Debra saw how dementia had robbed Debra’s mother and Josh’s father of their faculties as they reached their late 80s, and the situation highlighted a particular -- and personal -- problem for the couple as they developed their own estate plan.