In this Elder Law and Estate Planning Minute, Wes Coulson, Southern Illinois Elder Law attorney, discusses why it is that so many healthcare powers of attorney forms, including the statutory form in Illinois, are a tragically lost opportunity.
Why Many Powers of Attorney for Healthcare are a Lost Opportunity
Hi, I’m Wes Coulson and this is your Elder Law Minute. Today I want to talk to you about my feeling about why it is that so many healthcare powers of attorney forms, including the statutory form in Illinois, are a tragically lost opportunity.
Let me recount a couple of recent instances that I’ve been aware of. One, a woman died unexpectedly and at the hospital they asked her daughter, “Well is she going to be buried or cremated, what funeral home should we go to?” Her daughter had no idea. I’ve had another situation in which someone, they were talking about whether they wanted to have a blood transfusion, well she really didn’t have any idea about what her mother’s preference was on that.
You know, the burden of being someone’s agent under a healthcare power of attorney is really a terrible burden. And the first question, I think, that anybody who carries that burden asks is, “Well, what would mom have wanted, what would my husband have wanted?”
We use a much broader form of power attorney that gives people an opportunity, if they have any preference, to express that preference on a much broader array of subjects that might arise, that might be something that a healthcare power of attorney agent is going to be called upon to deal with. Let me tell you what I found to be the biggest benefit of that, is that it is so helpful to those agents. If you will, even if it doesn’t cover exactly the choice they are going to make, the more that they see choices that are made, it’s like putting more pieces into a jigsaw puzzle. The more you have, the easier it is to see the big picture.
So, please don’t miss out on that lost opportunity. Don’t just use a form. Come to an established elder law attorney who’s developed a form that addresses things in real life and you’ll be much happier with the result. Thanks.
For more information on powers of attorney, visit these articles:
- Why A Healthcare Power Of Attorney Is Better Than A Living Will
- Why You Really Can’t Do Without Powers of Attorney
- Alzheimer’s and Understanding the Scope of What’s Covered by a Power of Attorney for Healthcare
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Dent-Coulson Elder Law is dedicated to providing families in the St. Louis area with their Elder Law needs. Our practice areas include Asset Preservation Planning, Veterans Benefits, Medicaid Eligibility, Alzheimer’s Planning, Special Needs Planning, Estate Planning and more. We understand the financial challenges you may face as you and your loved ones grow older. At Dent-Coulson Elder Law, our clients’ well-being is our number one priority. For immediate help, call (877)995-6876 or Contact Us and we will get in touch as soon as possible.