Articles Posted in Healthcare Directive

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In these uncertain times, it’s more important than ever to have your legal, financial and medical ducks in a row. Sadly, when serious illness strikes it is usually quite rapid and often unexpected. In these times, however, we do have forewarning that we are all at risk of contracting COVID-19, the coronavirus.

If you have not yet named someone with Medical Power of Attorney, stop procrastinating and get this crucial planning in place now.

What is a Medical Power of Attorney?

4.9.19The idea that spouses and their stepchildren will share the legal power to make health care decision sounds good in theory, but, in practice, there may be some unexpected side effects.

Simple things get complicated in blended families. The idea that stepchildren and a spouse will work together to make health care decisions when their parent is ill, seems reasonable. However, what happens when the spouse and stepchildren differ on what is best?

A recent article from the Grand Forks Herald, “Joint power of attorney complicated this couple's wishes,” shares the story of what happened to one woman when her elderly husband was injured and then contracted pneumonia in the nursing home. His wife alerted her adult stepchildren, who rarely visit, and they immediately arrived to help out.

11.8.16Conversations about money, death and dying wishes become tangled up in strong emotions surrounding these matters. A strategic approach might be helpful.

Every family is different, but almost every family struggles with conversations about wills, estate planning and money. A recent article in The Chicago Tribune, “Have the estate planning talk,” advises a thoughtful approach while letting you know that this is hard for everyone.

This is a tough topic because feelings and money get tied up. Money in many instances can conjure feelings of control (or lack of it), dignity, shame, fear, or a lack of confidence. Many conversations go south quickly. For example: if an adult son asks his mother if she and his father have recently updated their wills, he might be met with a response such as, "Why? Are you hoping we’ll die soon, so you can use your inheritance to finally pay off that huge mortgage we warned you not to take?"

6.24.16A lot of details go into being an executor, and some people find it a thankless task. But knowing that you helped someone you love carry out his or her last wishes holds its own reward.

Most people are honored when they learn that they have been named executor of a loved one's estate. But according to an article in US News, "4 Tips to Be a Better Executor," they don't really understand what duties and responsibilities are involved.

An executor must deal with the estate of a deceased person—including identifying and valuing the assets, paying debts, and disbursing the assets according to the decedent's will. He or she also needs to ensure that the assets are protected during this period.

5.23.16Privacy and a faster resolution to settling estates are just two good reasons to create an estate plan.

You really don't have to be a millionaire or famous to create an estate plan, as noted in an article appearing on the Forbes' website, "Prince and Estate Planning: What We Can Learn from the Late Musician's Financial Picture." All you have to do is make sure that you have six basic estate planning documents in place to protect your loved ones from additional stress and worry when you pass away.

Here are the six key documents you should have to protect your assets and your family in the event of your passing:

MP900407501"It seems like there seems to continue to be confusion about what it means to die using neurologic criteria," said Cynda Hylton Rushton, professor of clinical ethics at Johns Hopkins University.

Two recent medical cases are making headlines over the often blurry lines between life, death, medical ethics and the law. When confronting issues like brain death and life support, what is the "right" decision for the patient?

CNN recently considered these two cases in the headlines and the surrounding issues in an article titled “When 'life support' is really 'death support'.

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