If you haven’t done your estate planning, you know that medical emergencies can still happen as you grow older. You may be at greater risk for a heart attack or a stroke, for example. There are things that can happen that will mean you need to be in a hospital or another medical setting, getting treatment.
One problem that can crop up is when your adult children don’t agree on the type of care that you need or the procedures that should be used. If you are incapacitated and you can’t give them any instructions, they may not be able to find solutions that they all feel comfortable with.
In the most extreme cases, there have been situations in which some siblings wanted to keep a parent on life-support and the other siblings did not. You can imagine how this is a massive decision and how it is a dispute that is not easy to rectify.
How can you address this?
You may be worried that disputes over medical care could create a rift between your children that will last for the rest of their lives. But don’t worry; there are ways that you can address it.
For example, you could create an advance directive saying if you want to be on life-support or what other types of care you do and do not want. This way, your children don’t have to make the decisions and they can just follow your instructions.
Another example would be to use a medical power of attorney to select one individual who gets to make the decision. It doesn’t necessarily mean that there won’t be a dispute between your children because they may not all be happy with that decision, but at least one person has the legal ability to make it. This can streamline the process to some degree.
No matter what you decide to do, it’s important to get all of the right paperwork in place in advance. Be sure you know what steps to take.