Do you have living wills, POA, Funeral Plans?
This topic contains 11 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by KatieM 2 months, 3 weeks ago.
December 19, 2014 at 8:26 am #7186
So after the last month I have learned I need to get us better organized on the legal front. I am looking for input on living wills, POA, advance directives, funeral plans ets. My hubby K. has faced death twice in the last month and by God’s grace is still alive!!! There were times when the medical staff was preparing me to have to make some big decsions….do I let them intubate K., does he was want TPN, Full code? I know all the answers to these if it was something like a freak car accident but in the face of chronic illness I don’t know the answers!!! How did you bring this discussion up to your loved one? Also how did you deal with in-laws? Did you use a lawyer, pastoral care at the hospital?
December 19, 2014 at 3:13 pm #7195
You’re asking all the right questions, for sure. Everyone should have a living will because you have absolutely no idea when someone will be called on to make decisions for you, and you should stipulate who that should be. I believe as a spouse, it automatically goes to you unless otherwise indicated.
Chronic illnesses need to have their own rules. I know with my husband, when he had emergency surgery he needed to be intubated and I had to sign a paper acknowledging the fact that I understood this could have consequences. But…if I didn’t sign it, I wouldn’t have saved his life. We know in our heart what needs to be done. It’s not easy to have “the discussion” while in the midst of a crisis, so if you are all nice and calm right now, I suggest you do it now. You’ll sense when the time is right. You can make it all about you and not about him. If you say “K, I need help. In order for me to be able to be there for you and do the things you want done in your interest, I need to talk to you and find out whether or not you want…” such and such steps taken.
When Steve and I had to discuss living wills, I discussed mine as well. Having a WILL is something else that needs to be dealt with if there are things you need to discuss. Who gets what, etc.? By law, the spouse gets everything that isn’t otherwise stipulated.
The only in-law I had to deal with was my brother-in-law. If you have the answers to your questions about the living will, your husband’s desires will be on paper. Your in-laws won’t be able to challenge that. Are they close by and do they help you care for K? What kind of relationship do you have with them?
POA also, I believe goes to the spouse unless otherwise indicated. Some people choose to give that to their attorneys – I had it for my parents and my husband. We chose not to give it to the attorney who handled our wills.
Six months after Steve died, I was hospitalized and realized I hadn’t attended to my Living Will or my will or my POA. Automatically, this would have fallen on my brother and my estate would have gone to my brother—closest blood relation when there is no spouse.
At the hospital, pastoral care can be a great comfort to the patient. My mother wouldn’t tell me anything. Pride. But the rabbi on staff at the hospital helped her a great deal. Sometimes they just do rounds and go from room to room to see if they can help—if anyone wants to talk with them.
I hope this has helped a little. Feel free to contact me, and good luck.
December 27, 2014 at 5:44 pm #7399
Thank you this did help! I have not yet brought it up but going to plan a nice date for us and bring it up over dessert. Then we can continue the discussion over the next few days and make an apt. with a lawyer.
My inlaws are near by and do help kind of with K. we don’t have the best of relationships and my father in law has told me that if we ever get to the point where medical decisions need to be made he wants to be calling the shots.
I need to get things clear and organized so we can all make sure K.’s wishes are honored in the end.
December 28, 2014 at 6:48 pm #7420
We only have POA.
Honestly, we were also put on the situation where I was about to make those tough decisions like you
Mentioned Sarah and even though my husband can make decisions on his own now, we still have not done anything official. We need to!
For us, since we talk about everything, it is an easy conversation! I like your plan though :0)
We went through a lawyer to do our POA. We didn’t involve family in that decisions, we just did it. I am the main person of course but we chose my brother in law if I am not able to make decisions. He knew afterwards and was okay with it. He and some others also know where the original copy is kept if needed.
January 10, 2015 at 12:25 am #7708
i had to have plans when my mom had to go into a home with Alzheimer’s, and her wish was also to donate her body to science upon her death. I can give you some ideas, but it depend on what the laws are where you live. I am also a financial planner who focuses a lot on the estate planning ares. If you would like some more information please let me know.
January 19, 2015 at 11:14 am #7879
Since I last posted K. had a flare up (no hospital time thank goodness just lots of care at home) and we had to make what I call “rounds” to all his ppl on our healthcare team. I did bring up the idea and we have had several discussions. I am now working on finding a lawyer to work with. Marion, thank you for your offer but currently all K. and I own is two cars. We live in CT so I while I don’t know any of the laws I am sure once we start this I will get an education. This was a hard subject to broach but has led to lots of good conversation!!
I pray for those of you who are working on this may it be calm and productive!
April 12, 2015 at 5:02 am #20429
Hi. I’m glad you are moving forward on this. We didn’t have anything in place when my husband got sick and in-laws became a huge problem. The hubby and I are now working on getting everything in place and have a lawyer appointment soon.
Best of luck!
April 12, 2015 at 6:02 pm #20443
One of the first things my husband did after his diagnosis of terminal Pancreatic Cancer was to call a cremation company and prepay his funeral costs so that all I have to do is make a phone call to them and a phone call to our pastor. The cremation company provided us with a booklet for my husband to complete that covered all the paperwork he could do ahead of time to make my life easier after he passes. We have been married for 41 years and we had already discussed many times what we would want done as far as DNR orders and such so it was just a matter of getting it down on paper and filing it with his doctors and the Hospice company. He has even called that various utility companies and changed the utilities over to my name so I won’t have to do that after he dies.
May 2, 2015 at 11:39 am #21368
It’s so important to have end-of-life discussions before you have to make the decisions. I hardly know what I want, I certainly can’t handle the stress of having to guess what my relatives would want! I’d be so afraid of making the wrong choice – or having to battle my relatives over what care to provide.
Of course, getting my relatives to put things in writing has been impossible so far. I’m starting to let them know that if they won’t tell me what kind of care they want, then I won’t be the one providing it. They’ve got to work with me!
May 13, 2015 at 3:43 pm #21774
Have any of you gotten pushback from friends and relatives for putting your paperwork in order ahead of time? My wife and I gave copies of our POA and DNR information to our parents and let’s just say they were not comfortable with the idea. Of course, they were upset when older relatives have passed before taking care of the paperwork – leaving all sorts of messes, emotionally and legally – but they are putting up quite a fight over doing it themselves and now they’re actively upset that I’ve done it.
July 31, 2016 at 3:38 pm #50142
Lots of organizations out there have sample forms you can fill out, sign, and get notarized. It makes it so much easier – I couldn’t afford to pay a lawyer.
Getting my boyfriend to fill one out was a fight… until his friend’s girlfriend wasn’t allowed to visit her boyfriend in the ICU. That changed his mind real quick.
June 26, 2017 at 4:59 pm #65952
If you get not only a POA but a HEALTH PROXY, your FIL will have no choice in the matter. The name on the HEALTH PROXY is the only person the hospital will accept directives from.