The Tucson Tragedy

As I write this, the Tucson shootings of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and others is still fresh almost 2 weeks ago.  I hope you will allow me to let this tragedy be an opening to remind us all of the necessity of advance care planning.  For our current clients it reminds why they have executed a Durable Power of Attorney, Health Care Surrogate and Living Will, and why all their loved ones and your family and network need to get one – now.  Sometimes serious medical events are completely unexpected.

The Virginia Tech shootings were also of an illustration of parents being unable to get information about their “adult” children because there was no power of attorney on record.

And what Floridian can forget Terri Schiavo and what can happen if a person does not have written directives; or Anna Nicole Smith, who did not put her funeral wishes in her will or a “separate writing”

It  also reminds us of the importance of  “having the talk” with our families to discuss out wishes, so that their designees can function more capably as health care agents in the event of a sudden medical challenge down the road.  Use these unfortunate opportunities to bring up these obviously unpleasant issues

While we keep the victims of this tragedy in our hearts and prayers, you can also try to make a trace of good from it by using these stories to get a conversation started.

Alice Reiter Feld

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Posted in advance directives; living will; healthcare surrogate; last will and testament, Alice Reiter Feld Florida Elder Law Monday Memos

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