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  • Gwyneth Blackwell

Advance Directives?

When we are young, I.E. in our 50's, we still think we may be impervious to needing any documents that would deal with our care if we became incompetent. I have worked in long term care for over 23 years now, and have seen people from their 30's on to their 50's who have had incidents that have made them incapable of making healthcare decisions. It's beyond tragic and sad, and of course devastating to the family.

When my husband and I went to France two years ago, we panicked, because we had no advance directives. (Shame on me, who knows first hand how important these documents are). We quickly called our attorney and drafted wills, advance directives, who would take our teenage twins, etc and got our ducks in a row.

We, who are in the long term care industry often counsel our clients on the importance of such documents, but we don't listen to our own advice.

Drafting Advance Directives often doesn't mean obtaining legal counsel, which can cost monies. However, I recommend retaining a good elder care attorney to draft important documents to cover you in case of the unimaginable. Having a Health Care Proxy is the most easy way to go, with no cost to the individual. Naming people who will have your wishes followed if you can't voice them is often the best way to go.

However, if your and your family have investments, monies, 401 K, 529 etc accounts, it is so important to have an over seer of your accounts so the funds you have saved for are directed to those to whom they were set up.

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