Author Topic: Single Mustachians--Do you have a health care power of attorney?  (Read 3220 times)

TN_Steve

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Single Mustachians--Do you have a health care power of attorney?
« on: November 22, 2014, 09:23:21 PM »
One of our sons had to go to the ER in an ambulance today (he'll be ok when his head unfogs, it appears).  Is in his 20s, and lives hours away from us.  He lives with long time GF.  Concussion from auto accident.  Took a long time to get the ER staff to deal with GF as "family" (and, legally, it was probably not appropriate).

He (and other kids) were supposed to have taken care of this, but he had neglected it:  "Hey, I'm a mid-20-something male, an athlete, in great shape, and a grad student, so no need for that old people BS" is the imagined interior dialog.  :-)

Would have been much easier for him and her if this had been done.  Plus, if the ER staff had insisted on strict compliance with the law, no one could have stepped in for him.  (Remember, if you are over 18, in most states your parent(s) legally can't direct the healthcare if you are unconscious or whacked out). 

It is a simple document, and I suspect that Nolo's forms will probably work.  http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/living-wills

This is one of the situations that a little work up front will pay monster dividends if you happen to get hit by the proverbial truck.

GizmoTX

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Re: Single Mustachians--Do you have a health care power of attorney?
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2014, 09:32:23 PM »
So glad your son will be OK. Sh!t happens.

We had DS execute this the minute he turned 18. We all have current wills, living wills (advance directives), & springing POAs for healthcare & finances. It's never too soon to get this done.

TN_Steve

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Re: Single Mustachians--Do you have a health care power of attorney?
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2014, 09:35:59 PM »
Yeah, we thought we had this covered.  :-/

DW and I have had all documents imaginable for 25 years (and updated as needed), but kids apparently didn't follow through after our discussions.  (And GF has been since 20, so would have required modification.)

Good news is that our family google hangout indicates that all kids are now closely attuned to the issue.  :-)

marty998

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Re: Single Mustachians--Do you have a health care power of attorney?
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2014, 03:17:30 AM »
curious....lets say there's no girlfriend and he was brought into the hospital alone. How would the hospital know if he had one in place if he was unconscious?

Also curious...does your hospital really do the paperwork first before saving the life (if it came to that?)

I'd like to think it was save the life first and ask questions later.

deborah

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Re: Single Mustachians--Do you have a health care power of attorney?
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2014, 03:29:21 AM »
Remember Marty, this is the US we are talking about. I have heard of this happening there before.

GizmoTX

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Re: Single Mustachians--Do you have a health care power of attorney?
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2014, 04:14:14 AM »
A U.S. ER will do lifesaving but after that things slow to a crawl without a legal directive.

TN_Steve

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Re: Single Mustachians--Do you have a health care power of attorney?
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2014, 09:28:23 AM »
Gizmo nailed it.

Also, if you have a close partner relationship w.o. marriage, you'd probably want them by your bedside even if you are too loopy to properly consent to it on the spot.  HIPAA privacy regs, particularly if provider takes a better safe than sorry approach, put a real damper on that without PoA in hand. 

Sure, with sufficient perseverance and luck, you may often be able to get around it--but why take the risk when the paper is not that hard to deal with up front?

Daisy

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Re: Single Mustachians--Do you have a health care power of attorney?
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2014, 05:18:35 PM »
I'm single. I went to a lawyer to get my papers in order. I put my sister down as my health care power of attorney/advocate, as she knows what kind of care I would want and tends to agree with me on the type of care that would be needed.

Funny thing is she's married, but secretly told me she trusted my instincts on health care more than her husband's opinion on it, so she wanted me to be her health care advocate but her husband's opinion would probably override mine. Oh well, I hope to never have to reach the point where that will be an issue. I'm not interfering in anyone's marriage so his opinion will probably stand.

I put my brother down as financial power of attorney, because he is more knowledgeable about finances. I wouldn't trust my sister with the finances...not that I wouldn't trust her because she's pretty frugal, but she doesn't read up on stuff and may not understand the different types of accounts or anything. My oldest brother is also someone everyone gets along with and would know how to calmly distribute any funds I would have left after croaking. I wouldn't want him making my health care decisions though.

So that's why I split up my power of attorney duties.

GizmoTX

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Re: Single Mustachians--Do you have a health care power of attorney?
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2014, 05:48:41 PM »
It's always a good idea to pick the most competent person for any job -- this isn't about who will get their feathers ruffled.

It's also a good idea to specify more than one person for each POA, in your order of preference, just in case your first choice isn't available. Better to have your second choice than no one at all.

MayDay

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Re: Single Mustachians--Do you have a health care power of attorney?
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2014, 06:13:15 PM »
I'm married, but this is a good reminder to ask my brother and sister about theirs. 

I think the recommendation is to have to POA on file with your doctor.  If you live in a small town with a small number of clinics and one hospital that is probably sufficient.  If you live in a larger city, I don't know what they would do if you came in unconscious. 

We worry about this with my FIL.  H is the POA but FIL won't give us physical copies of the stuff.  So if he is ever in an accident, H would have to drive up to FIL's house (2.5 hours) and dig through his house to try to find the paperwork.  And we actually don't even have a key to his house so eye would have to either hope another relative had a key, or break in.  What a nightmare. 

GizmoTX

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Re: Single Mustachians--Do you have a health care power of attorney?
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2014, 08:45:14 PM »
My MIL lives in a senior community that has independent & assisted living. Every resident has a large file envelope taped to their bedroom door with all their directives & contacts in it. Grab & go to the ER. Another good location is on or near the refrigerator. Of course, an additional copy could go to the primary doctor.

It's a good idea to also provide a copy of the health POA to the person indicated in the POA, so they don't have to waste any time looking for it.

The_path_less_taken

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Re: Single Mustachians--Do you have a health care power of attorney?
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2014, 01:10:43 PM »
My Mom died two months after my 18th birthday. I inherited property off of a hand written will.

Didn't know I had to file paperwork or probate or anything until I locked myself out of the rental house and the locksmith said, "Where's your mom?"

"Heaven."

The guy sat me down on the porch and told me what I had to file, etc. Nice guy. I wrote my own will that evening.

Please note: while a holographic/handwritten will is still legal in some states I don't recommend them!!!

TN_Steve

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Re: Single Mustachians--Do you have a health care power of attorney?
« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2014, 04:51:32 PM »
...

I think the recommendation is to have to POA on file with your doctor.  If you live in a small town with a small number of clinics and one hospital that is probably sufficient.  If you live in a larger city, I don't know what they would do if you came in unconscious. 

We worry about this with my FIL.  H is the POA but FIL won't give us physical copies of the stuff.  So if he is ever in an accident, H would have to drive up to FIL's house (2.5 hours) and dig through his house to try to find the paperwork.  And we actually don't even have a key to his house so eye would have to either hope another relative had a key, or break in.  What a nightmare.

DW and I put ours up on Google Drive with read permissions to parents, her sister, and all three of our sons.  Emailed them pdfs to boot.  We have reciprocals, then Sons with any one of them having power if others unavailable.  Figure that if anything happens, we have set it up so that the documents will be readily available for presentation as needed.  I'm recommending same approach to sons.