In my last Blog Post I discussed the absolute necessity for appropriate Health Care documents, including a Health Care Power of Attorney (“HCPOA”), an Advanced Health Care Directive (“AHCD”), and a HIPAA Release. Sadly, too many procrastinate having these crucial legal documents prepared and put into place because they don’t want to spend the time or the money. I get it! Your time and your money are finite commodities. However, as I mentioned in my last post, “when your loved one is rendered unable to manage their affairs for themselves, and these critical legal documents do not exist, you may face an ordeal nearly as debilitating as the disabling medical condition itself. It’s a legal process commonly called Living Probate, and for those who must endure it, it is often a living nightmare.”
Let me offer a real world example involving a married couple who actually had an estate plan (not created by my firm), but one that did not include an HCPOA, AHCD, or HIPAA Release. They may well have congratulated themselves thinking they were in great shape – until the wife passed away this past May. This loving couple had known each other from the time they were children, and the tragic passing of his wife of more than 57 years, cost the husband his sanity. As a result of his delirium, this good man lost the ability to care for himself and had to be put into a secure psychiatric facility. Since he refused to eat or drink, he had to be shuttled back and forth between the psych facility and the ER. His two grown children (who have grown children of their own) were faced with the challenge of trying to gain control of managing the course of their father’s immediate and long-term care.
Unfortunately, their parents’ estate plan was poorly crafted, lacked any health care documents, and was essentially worthless to the situation at hand. Their Dad effectively became a ward of the County, with the County making all of the decisions about the course of his medical care and institutionalization. Thinking that the County would honor the fact that they were the next-of-kin and designated successor trustees in the estate plan, his children asked the County for the right to make medical decisions and choice of facility for their Dad. The County advised them that the law prohibited it; that the children would need to obtain a Conservatorship for their father before the County could relinquish the decision-making role for their Dad. Which is when the children retained me to help them. The path to be appointed their Dad’s conservators, involved the expensive, public, and difficult court process otherwise known as “living probate.” Over the course of months, this man’s dutiful, loving children fought to gain control over their father’s care at a cost of more than four times the fee that I would have charged for an estate plan, one that would have included all of the necessary health care documents thereby avoiding all of the expense, time, and stress that these poor children had to endure.
Life is inevitably filled with uncertainty, difficulties, and unexpected challenges. Chances are, that when the need arises, you may well regret not taking the time and spending the money to avoid turning a challenge into a calamity. Part of my purpose in life is to be of service by ensuring that you have a plan that will truly care for you and your loved ones now and in the future. Please act now to see that this kind of expensive and unnecessary calamity never happens to you or the ones you love. Call now (818) 532-5599 for a free 60 minute consultation.
Learn more by downloading my free report: The Nightmare of Living Probate.