Everyone wants to retain control over their decisions as End-of-Life approaches, but it takes good planning and the proper directives. We found a story that interviews a group of elder care attorneys on how to make a comprehensive plan that covers all the bases.
The first step is to have an extended conversation with your family about how you want to be treated at End-of-Life. “They’re hard conversations to have; you have to sit down and say, ‘I trust you and want you to make medical choices for me,’” says elder lawyer Wendy Sheinberg.
The next step is to prepare these legal documents:
• A Living Will or Advance Directive
• A Healthcare Proxy or Power of Attorney
A Living Will (or Advance Directive) speaks to your End-of-Life decisions and may include specific wishes in the event you’re unable to speak for yourself. The Healthcare Proxy (or Power of Attorney) takes effect when you can’t make medical decisions for yourself; it leaves decisions in the hands of your healthcare agent or advocate.
It’s important to find someone you trust who promises to carry out your wishes. “Clients often choose the wrong healthcare agents,” says elder attorney Will Lucius. “Rather than selecting an agent that will follow the person’s wishes, clients may choose an agent by age or one that’s in close proximity.”
In the end, “You can’t ironclad your wishes,” says elder attorney Howard Krooks. “You can state what you want but it becomes a question of whether the healthcare providers are on board with what you want done.”
The good news is the trend to always opt for aggressive treatment “is starting to get stripped away and the concept of dying with dignity is starting to take hold,” Krooks says. “But it’s going to take some time.”
Read the story here.