My post the other day about wills worked I had several people contact me and ask questions. My purpose of that post and this one is just to get one person to consider something they may not have ever thought about.
The topics below vary from state to state and mine are all from Kansas, most of these are pretty universal and can all be done on the interne for free without an attorney. You only need a power of attorney to sign off.
Today Doctors and Hospitals go to extreme measures to preserve life to prevent being sued. This may not be what you want done when you die. The first document I want to cover is called a living will. It also goes by other names but the intent is the same. This gives you the legal right to determine in advance what lifesaving procedures you want done to you under different circumstances. I had never heard of this form until my mother told me about it when I was in my 40’s. It did turn out to be very useful when she and my brother went into a hospice setting. This form can be very detailed, like if and when you want a tube passed so you can breathe, provided nourishment and a list of other things. If you have no preference on a certain issue just list that under the issue. Without this form they will consult the next of kin to make these decisions. This is the worst time in a persons life to make any kind of decision even if you have discussed it with them before. They are under extreme pressure and or shocked and just plain confused and can very often be pressured by the Doctor.
The next form simplifies everything above it is often called a medical power of attorney. This gives you the power to list at least one person to carry out your wishes on the living will, I recommend a second as a alternate if the first one cant be found or get there in a reasonable time. This is a lot of responsibility to place on a person so you need to choose wisely and discus it with them to make sure they will carry out your wishes. Your next of kin may not be the best choice for a lot of reasons but its up to you. In my case I have my Daughter listed as my next of kin. I discussed this with her and she didn’t want the responsibility. I knew she wouldn’t but I let her decide. I then went to my sister and she gladly took it. I knew we thought the same about extreme measures after our experience with my Mother and Brother. Who ever you pick must be able to pull the plug on the respirator or be the one to decide when that last big dose of moraine comes so you die peacefully and without pain.
I have two more to discus very briefly if you are still reading. The first is a Durable power of attorney for financial management. This can be a very useful tool as well as a dangerous one You are giving one person the right to do what they want with you finances. It is useful if you cant make these decisions on you own due to illness or injury but can be used by the person you name to sell everything you own. I will let you look this one up and decide if you need it or not.
The last one is called a Final Arrangements statement. This form give you the legal right to determine what is done to your body after you die. A lot of people think this is a morbid topic but we all die eventually. You an choose if you want to be cremated or not, embalmed or not, preference for a casket,marker, where you want your remains to be placed and even write your own epitaph. You can also go into detail the type of ceremony you want and even who to invite. This form I got very specific with for personnel reasons. If you choose to use one of these forms please do a through research first. Like the last one I posted just trying to reach one person.