My wife and I just welcomed the newest member of our family; a little baby boy. After having 3 little girls – and even our dog being female – words cannot describe what it was like for me to welcome this little boy into our family. When we arrived at the hospital to check-in one of the first things they asked after, “how would you like to pay for this?” was, “does your wife have a Health Care Power of Attorney and Living Will?” I was happy to inform the receptionist that, yes, we did have both of these documents. I then handed my wife’s health care documents to the nurse so she could make a copy for the hospital’s file. Thankfully, we did not need to use either of these legal documents since both my wife and the baby came through the delivery just fine. However, I found myself pondering about what other people do who have not created such critically important legal documents.
What if a problem had arisen during the delivery and my wife became unconscious and unable to tell the doctors what her medical wishes were? If we did not have the proper legal health care documents in place things could have been a tragic nightmare. Instead of being able to focus on the health concerns of my wife, I would have been arguing with the hospital about my ability to make her health care decisions for her. Because of the amount of laws and red-tape in such a situation, I may have to initiate a living probate proceeding over her, getting the courts involved to issue a guardianship over my wife. This of course would mean a lot of time and money just to ensure that my wife was taken care of and her wishes were carried out.
Nobody should have to go through something like that when a loved is in a condition where they cannot express their medical wishes. You should be able to focus your time and energy on your loved one instead of worrying about court proceedings and arguing with medical staff over your ability to see your loved one’s medical needs and wishes are met.
I can think of no better motto then that adopted by the Boy Scouts of America- Be Prepared! You never know what life is going to throw at you. You never know what curves in the road lie ahead. That is why it is always best to plan for the worst and hope for the best in situations like these. And how you plan for the worst is by making sure that you have all of your health care documents up to date and working like you would like them to work.
To ensure that your healthcare documents are in place and current, schedule a free consultation with our office by calling 888.222.1328.
Contributed by MH Prescott attorney and partner David T. Eastman
Why Choose Morris Hall:
You have a number of options when it comes to estate planning, so why pick Morris Hall? First off, estate planning and asset protection are a very complicated endeavor and you should only trust someone who focuses exclusively on those matters. Also, MH is a proud member of The American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys (AAEPA) which provides us additional support, advanced training, tools and information that is not available to others – which means that we can better protect your assets and your loved ones. We are one of only two firms in Arizona that belong to the AAEPA and are the only firm in New Mexico that has been granted membership. If you have assets and loved ones that you want to protect, you are in good hands with MH. Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!
This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.