Recently, a couple consulted with me with the primary initial concern to make sure they had living wills that would work. The husband shared his personal story of his harrowing experience where hospice would not honor his mother’s wishes in her living will. She had filled out a form on line. She even signed it before a notary. She did NOT, however, fill in the blank identifying her agent. She did not have a medical power of attorney picking that person. While her wishes were clear, she had not chosen anyone to carry them out.
All of this was happening over Thanksgiving and Christmas!
She spent weeks in a hospital on a feeding tube without improvement. She was transported to a nursing home. Every time her feeding tube dislodged, it was put back. It was put back because the feeding tube was keeping her alive. Her desire to not be kept alive just for the sake of being alive could not be honored. The hospital and nursing home and even hospice providers needed to do what they could to keep her living without a valid living will.
The family was forced over the holidays to seek legal assistance in getting a temporary guardianship set up by the probate court, so that decisions could be made. A hearing was scheduled, and finally when the tube fell out 2 days before the hearing, it was not put back in. For three months, this dragged on!
Fully and carefully prepared medical and mental healthcare powers of attorney and a living will are so important. This was that couple’s primary focus—not to put their immediate family through what they had suffered.
I offered solutions to these concerns and to other estate needs for this couple. Find more information about my services on the website.