Rachel Kabb-Effron from the Kabb Law Firm explains three of the scariest situations that happen if unprepared. This is a must-see interview – whether you want the information for yourself, your parents, or a loved one.
Some people avoid preparing necessary documents because they can’t acknowledge their mortality. Others mistakenly believe their personal powers or decisions would be lost immediately and forever.
“By not making a decision, you are making a decision.”
The adage “knowledge is power” holds true for controlling your own life decisions. The following scary life situations can be avoided, so take action now.
Scary Situation #1
A Court makes your end of life decisions if you don’t make them for yourself in advance.
If you don’t name your decision-maker, a court will appoint someone who may not be related to you, or even know you.
Nobody plans to have a car accident, a stroke, or other sudden incapacitating crisis. On the other hand, a healthy adult could decline slowly, as in the case of dementia.
In either case, deciding in advance on Powers of Attorney (POA) – both for healthcare and finances – can make a difference in the quality of your future life.
Name the Oldest Child?
As a dedicated eldercare attorney, Rachel explains why birth order should NOT be the deciding factor for your POA. She helps her clients objectively discern who might serve in their best interests.
“Would you want someone making decisions on your healthcare that lives 1,000 miles away? Probably not!”
Keep in mind that nothing has to be permanent. Appointed POAs can be changed as necessary, too.
Scary Situation #2
Adult children fight over the decisions you neglected to make.
Arguments can begin and the children start vying for power when a parent is losing capacity. Important decisions end up in an emotional hotpot:
- When to pull the plug?
- Who can/should be the caregiver?
- Should the family caregiver be paid?
- Where should the incapacitated adult live?
- Should caregiving assistance be in the home or in a facility?
- Should organs be donated?
- Should food or hydration be offered in a permanently unconscious state?
- Who pays the bills and makes the financial decisions?
- What to do with social media accounts?
Scary Situation #3
You are living at the mercy of the government, a huge bureaucracy that doesn’t know you or care about you, or your unspoken wishes.
Families need knowledge and advocacy as they enter this arena so they don’t lose out financially. Too often, spouses pay beyond what is necessary without even knowing that they could have saved 30 – 40% of their assets.
Medicare, Medicaid, and Veterans benefits are layered and complex. Families can waste time digging for information when a consultation with an elder law firm would assure that no stone is left unturned.
Rachel gives this additional advice… “If you leave a doctor’s office with a diagnosis that worries you, the next appointment should be with your eldercare attorney.”
Rachel’s genuine kindness is obvious as she laments that the saddest things she hears on a weekly basis are, “I wish I had known that before,” “I wish I had known we didn’t have to lose everything before Mom went into the nursing home,” and “If only he had a POA so we wouldn’t be in the hands of the court now.”
Please share your thoughts in the comment box below…
Do you agree that it’s better to age with a life care plan than not?
Have you made YOUR plans yet, while there’s no question about your capacity?
Do you have a story to share that can benefit others?