When the Daughter Can’t “Pull the Plug”
By Estate Planning Attorney Rick Law, Senior Advocate and Elder Law Attorney at the Estate Planning Center at Law Elder Law. Wanda came into our office to discuss her estate plan… We spent close to two hours going over all of her wishes relative to her finances, her legacy, and, finally, her views regarding life-prolonging treatments that were incorporated into her health-care power of attorney. She had been accompanied to this meeting by her daughter whom she had chosen to be her executor, her trustee, and her agent under her power of attorney for property and health care. All seemed to be going well until reviewing Wanda’s wishes relative to life-prolonging treatments and end-life decision making. At that point the daughter (Wendy) suddenly stated, “No Mom, I could never direct a physician to withhold or remove life support.” Wendy was expressing her very strong religious beliefs regarding the sanctity of life and her church’s definition of ordinary health care. Wanda was outright stunned that her daughter would not fulfill her wishes regarding end-life decisions. She realized that certain adjustments needed to be made in her health-care decision-making process and eventually she chose a different person to make the final life-prolonging decision. It is important for anyone involved in the planning process to understand not only how their chosen agent may respond to their view on end-life treatment but also the position of the health-care provider. There are many charitable, religious hospitals and nursing homes that will not fulfill patients’ desires relative to end-life decision making. In the event that a health-care provider is unwilling to comply with the legitimate end-life decision making elected by a patient and/or agent under the health-care power of attorney, they should request that the client be moved to a different facility that is willing to fulfill the client’s wishes relative to end-life decisions. Give our office a call at 800-310-3100. Your first consultation is absolutely free. We’ll let you know what steps you need to take, right now, to protect yourself and your family. Sincerely, Rick L. Law, Attorney, Estate Planner for Retirees. Rick was named the #1 Illinois elder law estate planning attorney by Leading Lawyer Magazine. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, AARP Magazine, TheStreet.com, and numerous newspapers and articles. Rick is the lead attorney for Law Elder Law, LLP, focusing in Estate Planning, Guardianship, and Nursing Home Solutions. His goal is to give retirees an informed edge when it comes to dealing with an uncertain future. Get flexible retirement strategies that work during good times and bad, plus information on how you can save your home and assets from being used to pay for long term care. Call 800-310-3100 for your free consultation now!