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Have you planned for the end of your life?

  1. Jul 2, 2010 #1

    turbo

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    Do you have a will, and a living will that specifies what types of medical interventions you will allow once your body fails you? My wife and I have been pretty dedicated to establishing and modifying both, as needed.

    Even with both, once you have lost mental faculties (like my mother-in-law who has dementia) your kids will probably spar with each other about how to interpret your wishes. It can get nasty, and it has gotten so with my wife's family. There are 4 siblings who are retired or do not work by choice, and they form a bloc that "votes" to keep their mother at home until she dies instead of getting her into a nursing home (there is a good one about 10 minutes away) that can provide competent personal care and medical supervision. The remaining 3 siblings that work are expected to provide their full share of the 24/7 monitoring that their mother needs. My wife and her younger sister work full time 40 hours a week, so they each lose a day from every weekend. Another sister works part-time though she is one of the cadre that resists the nursing home option.

    If you are willing to cause your children to break life-long bonds and get at each others' throats, all you have to do is to neglect to include your end-of-life wishes in your living will. Don't want Hospice care or long-term care in a nursing home? Please say so, and establish some penalties for your children who might try to ignore your wishes. If you are not detailed and quite specific, your kids will project their own wishes on you and end up carrying life-long grudges against their siblings who disagree. During a family meeting a week or so ago, an older brother accused my wife of wanting to "throw our mother away" because she thought that the nursing home might provide better care for her than a mish-mash of amateurs with no training.
     
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  3. Jul 2, 2010 #2

    Evo

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    I signed a living will specifying no heroic measures to revive me or keeping me on life support. I think Evo Child threw it away. I need to do another one. I also don't want a funeral and no fancy casket.

    Turbo, as painful as it might be for your wife, the only way to get the worthless siblings to agree to the nursing home will be for your wife and her sister to say "no more", we cannot continue to be the only caretakers. Tell them their mother's fate is their decision either she goes to a nursing home for proper care or they spend equal time caring for her.

    Her siblings have shucked their responsibilities because they know your wife will let them bully her.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2010
  4. Jul 2, 2010 #3

    turbo

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    You need to keep a copy on file with your primary care physician, and with your lawyer, as well as in your personal records. And all of them need to be witnessed and notarized or they will be blithely ignored to serve the interests of relatives, health-care providers, etc.
     
  5. Jul 2, 2010 #4

    Evo

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    This was done through my surgeon twice. They offer the paperwork and witness it. Not sure if they keep copies after the surgery.
     
  6. Jul 2, 2010 #5

    turbo

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    Those are conditional and temporary, I'm afraid. My wife and I have ours drawn up and amended by a lawyer who is an old friend. She also offers us guidance as to where copies of those documents should reside. It's a relatively inexpensive service but it's an important one. Becky is a trusted confidante and she handles all our legal work, except that work that requires specialization, and even then, I rely on her to steer me to the best specialist she knows.
     
  7. Jul 2, 2010 #6

    dlgoff

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    I've been procrastinating filling out the appropriate form, but about a month ago I bought "The Easy Will And Living Will Kit", CD-ROM included.
     
  8. Jul 2, 2010 #7

    cronxeh

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    oh oh i want DNR and cremation. How much is that? Also my money cashed and cash burned.
     
  9. Jul 2, 2010 #8
    Be careful as you go. I told my wife I wanted no heroic measures to revive me and she stopped cooking my meals.
     
  10. Jul 2, 2010 #9

    Evo

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    :rofl:
     
  11. Jul 2, 2010 #10

    turbo

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    That's pretty standard.
     
  12. Jul 2, 2010 #11

    Averagesupernova

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    You can't do that. If you want no one to benefit from your wealth you have to turn it all into cash before you die and see to it no one will ever find it. If that means lighting it, well, then that's what you have to do.
     
  13. Jul 2, 2010 #12
    I don't want to be a burden on anyone. I would prefer if they just stuffed my body in a garbage bag and left it out on trash day. I do know if they allow that though.
     
  14. Jul 2, 2010 #13

    turbo

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    I would prefer that someone would haul my body out into the woods so the critters could eat me. Fair play, I think.
     
  15. Jul 2, 2010 #14

    lisab

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  16. Jul 2, 2010 #15

    BobG

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    I just hope someone feeds my dog.

    And they find my body before my dog gets too hungry.
     
  17. Jul 2, 2010 #16

    lisab

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    :eek: Maybe next time you start feeling ill, you should leave a big bag of kibble on the floor...just sayin'.
     
  18. Jul 2, 2010 #17

    Evo

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    That reminds me of that ridiculous show called "Life after people" where they did an episode showing what Queen Elizabeth's corgis would do to survive at the palace. :uhh:
     
  19. Jul 3, 2010 #18
    Everyone, no matter what your marital status or financial situation or age, should have three documents assembled and signed. They are very, very, very important and you need all three to make sure that everything about your being is taken care of should you not be able to.

    1. A Will. Straightforward -- everyone knows about that one. Even if you don't have a whole bunch of stuff, you should be responsible enough to have clear plans about what should happen.

    This next part is super-duper important. Please pay close attention. A Will is a contract, and all contracts have a trigger mechanism. That means, all contracts have a condition that must be met in order for that contract to govern a situation. The trigger mechanism of a Will is death. What happens to you if you aren't dead but can't take care of your stuff/being/existence? What if any number of things has happened to you such that you can't reasonably make decisions any longer? Who gets to make those decisions for you? And what ought those decisions be?

    So, two other documents that are as critical as a Will and can't be covered by a Will. Remember: trigger mechanism. If you aren't dead, the contents of a Will can't deal with it.

    2. A Personal Directive (That's what the document is called where I live. It used to be called A Living Will but the courts here decided that it was a contradictory term. A Will deals with death, not living, so it made no sense, and they re-named it.) A Personal Directive deals with your medical well-being should you not be able to make decisions about your care yourself. And it's not just a question of heroic measures or pulling plugs. There are plenty of situations where just letting someone die isn't the question, it's what kind of care facility you'd like to be in and who is in charge of making those decisions.

    Generally, when you're married, the default person in the eyes of the law is your spouse. But say you're in a car accident and your spouse is with you? You need to name a secondary person to make the decisions for you if you can't and your spouse can't either.

    3. An Enduring Power of Attorney. A Will deals with what happens when you die. A Personal Directive deals with your medical issues. Those don't cover everything. You also have financial stuff that needs taking care of should you not be able to take care of it yourself. So, say you're unconscious for a while, but your rent still needs to get paid? Cheques (checks) still need to be written, your bank account needs to be attended to? Say, maybe, you're going to be in long-term care, but are incapacitated, and own a home? Who has the legal right to sign on your behalf to sell your property if, say, you're never going to return to it?

    Again, when you're married, the default person by law is your spouse. But, again, what if? And, too, as I explained to my parents, both of their names are on the title for their home. Say my dad was in a care facility a distance away from where they live, and my mother wanted to sell the house and move closer? My father's not dead, so the Will doesn't count. She needed to have the authority to act on his behalf in financial issues if she wanted to be able to sign for him to sell the house, if he couldn't sign. If she didn't, she'd need to hire a lawyer and make a Dependent Adult application with the courts to get legal authority over him, before she could handle his financial affairs. That's a whole bunch of money to spend and nonsense to go through when they could just sign a piece of paper ahead of time and have this stuff dealt with.

    Anyway, sorry to lecture. I used work in law and specialised in Wills and Estates. I dealt with too much nonsense and people who weren't sure what to do and what decisions to make or how to handle things and warring families. It's really easy. If you don't have complicated financial affairs and you don't have minor children, you can do it yourself with a kit that you can get at most bookstores. It's not a difficult or time-consuming project. It's selfish to avoid doing it because, "Oh, I just don't like thinking about those things". Just get it done, and have all three documents in place. Save everyone a bunch of potential heartache.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2010
  20. Jul 3, 2010 #19
    GeorginaS,

    I appreciate your contribution. I have been trying to put together such documents with my CPA.

    Where there's a Will... o:)
     
  21. Jul 3, 2010 #20

    Borg

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    My wife and I haven't done this mainly because we can't fully agree on the specific details - mainly about whether to include my sister. I don't want to leave her completely out even though my wife and I both know that she would probably figure out a way to lose it. My sister has a good heart but she has made some dumb financial decisions.

    All of our retirement and stock accounts have beneficiaries but the house isn't covered like that.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2010
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