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It had been a beautiful spring, very mild for Arizona, the kind of spring that you want to spend each day outside under the warm sun.  A retired police officer, Jim, had recently separated from his wife, moved back to Arizona and bought a home.  He spent a day beating the pants off of his 27 year old daughter in a best out of 7 match of tennis.  He was feeling happy and healthy and settling back into his life and making new friends in his new neighborhood sharing stores about being on “the beat” with other retired officers.  Three days later, he had a stroke at home that was followed by a massive stroke in the hospital.  He was in ICU, doctors didn’t know if he would live or die and they couldn’t tell his youngest daughter much of anything because she didn’t have a document stating that she was allowed to know the details and his medical power of attorney, his estranged wife, was in Florida and not answering the phone.

Jim, survived the night and came to the next day, but the effects of the stroke were obvious and vast.  He was no longer able to move the right side of his body and the great story teller was now silent and unable to speak.  After 3 weeks in the hospital, he was moved to a rehab facility.  His daughter came down the halls to visit her Daddy, she turned into the room to see 7 firefighters and paramedics trying to move her father, to rush him the hospital.  He had been found unresponsive by the nurse who called 9-1-1.  Once again, no one could contact the wife and doctors ask the daughter, “can we bag him?”

Every 40 seconds someone in America has a stroke and every four minutes someone dies from a stroke.  Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in America.  I was that 27 year old girl and I am happy to say that my Daddy lived and he still suffers from the effects of the stroke today.  He is unable to walk, he is often slow to respond to questions and his story telling days have now faded as he quietly listening to

The lesson from Jim should be clear. Had he updated his estate plan his treatment may have been less bumpy.  The proper Powers of Attorney would have been in place and in the right hands before this life altering event took place. Having a well drafted trust could also have incorporated Medicaid-triggers, better protecting his assets from spend-down.

Whenever you have a major change in your life; birth of a child or grandchild, divorce, acquire new property, you should have your estate plan reviewed and updated. Life happens without warning and we should never procrastinate, especially if you’re going to live to be 112 and a day.

What the Attorneys of Morris Hall Can Do For You:
The attorneys at Morris Hall have 100’s of years of combined experience ensuring that families’ assets are protected from probate, unnecessary taxes, creditors, ex-spouses and Medicaid spend-down.  The attorneys also help those in Arizona and New Mexico to apply for and receive Medicaid assistance and Veterans Benefits.  Our Arizona offices are located in Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Cave Creek, Tucson, Prescott, Flagstaff and Arrowhead.  Our New Mexico offices are located in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe.  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.

SOURCE for Stats: http://www.cdc.gov/stroke/stroke_awareness_month.htm

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