Having been active in sports when I was younger and still being active today with ballroom dancing, hiking and working out, my body has nicks and wounds. I have received these wounds and damage over time. Also, I am a combination of the genetics of my parents, grandparents, and beyond.
My mom and her father had arthritis and my mom ended up with both knees and both hips replaced. I have had both knees replaced and I am now going to have a “shoulder resurfacing” or what looks like a partial shoulder replacement. The off side is that my mom is the kindest person I have ever met and also very sensitive and encouraging. One gets the good with the bad.
Health Care Authorities
As I head toward the surgery date, I am starting to get things ready for the surgery. This includes reviewing my Health Care Power of Attorney, Living Will and Health Care Designation (HIPPA). These are the legal authorities for who I authorize to consent to medical treatment if I am unconscious and who can have access to my medical information. The Living Will is if one is terminal and incurable. This allows the physician to take you off the ventilator. (Thank goodness, I am not in the “ventilator situation”. If someone is terminal and incurable, the Living Will allows them to consent ahead of time to be taken off the ventilator.)
When one is getting ready for medical treatment, the hospitals and medical providers will ask for these legal authorities up front. You want to make sure that yours are current with the right people in the right roles.
Here’s a personal checklist when considering who you authorize:
- You want to make sure that your Healthcare Agent is someone who will follow your desires especially when you are not able to voice them.
- You want to make sure that the emotional issues of the person that you have chosen does not override your desires.
- You want somebody who will follow your best interest and do what you have expressly asked them to do.
Family Member or Not?
People often choose a family member to make these decisions. This is often a mistake because a family member may not always follow your instructions. This is why when a parent wants to choose one of their adult children, they need to be sure that that adult child has the emotional strength to carry out the parents desires as opposed to being limited by their own emotional issues.
Make sure that your Health Care Authorities are up to date, and that your Health Care Power of Attorney authorizes the right person to take action on your behalf. You will want a backup in case the first person is unable or unwilling to help when needed. Make sure that your Living Will is current and that the right people have access to your medical information as needed. You will want to make sure that you have the right people in the right roles and that your health care legal documentation is up to date.
At the Law Firm of Steven Andrew Jackson, Attorney and Counsellor at Law, we have helped hundreds of families protect themselves and their loved ones, avoid Estate Taxes and Probate Costs, and keep their Estate Plans current with the law through The Customized Protective Estate Planning Solution™.