April 16th is National Health Care Decisions Day: Tell Someone Your Most Personal Wishes for Medical Care

April 16th is National Health Care Decisions Day, which encourages local residents to have open conversations with their loved ones about their most personal wishes for health care, including thoughts on life support, feeding tubes, organ donation, long-term care and what is “qualify of life”.

ATLANTA, GEORGIA (03/30/2012)-  April 16th is National Health Care Decisions Day, which encourages local residents to have tough conversations with their loved ones about their most personal wishes for medical care. 

These conversations include wishes and preferences about life support, feeding tubes, organ donation and what you consider to be “quality of life” in the event of a long-term incapacity. 

According Steve Worrall, an estate planning attorney in Atlanta, Georgia, these conversations may be hard to have, but it’s the only way to make sure your wishes are honored and that your loved one’s stay together in a medical emergency. 

“I’ve seen many families torn apart trying to figure out what their loved one ‘would have wanted’ during a medical crisis,” says Worrall.  “In some cases, families even spend years battling in court for control, much like Terri Shiavo’s family did,” he adds. 

Worrall says strife over health care decisions can be avoided by letting someone know your wishes and clearly documenting them.   He says that legal tools such as a Power of Attorney, Health Care Directive and HIPAA forms are easy ways to let doctors and family members know how to manage your care if the unthinkable happens. 

“Medical crises can be emotional, and the only way to guarantee your wishes are honored and that your family stays together is to let everyone know exactly what you want and who you trust to make those decisions. It will make life easier for everyone in a true emergency,” says Worrall. 

For more information on documenting your personal health care wishes or about National Health Care Decisions Day, please visit Worrall’s website (www.georgiafamilylaw.com) or the National Health Care Decisions Day website (http://www.nhdd.org/). 



Do Your College Age Children Have Healthcare Directives? DO YOU?

Dreamstime_1583806 We should all protect our families and our assets with legal documents like wills and trusts, but what are our essential needs and what can we do on our own to save on legal fees? Family financial and legal expert, Alexis Martin Neely, is the author of "Wear Clean Underwear: A Fast, Fun, Friendly and Essential Guide to Legal Planning," and shared some valuable advice in an appearance this week on View From the Bay on KGO in San Francisco.

Alexis is the founder of the estate planning law firm of Martin Neely & Associates in Southern California, as well as the Family Wealth Planning Institute, a nationwide cadre of Personal Family Lawyers guiding parents to make the best legal decisions throughout life and being there for loved ones afterward.

She says everyone over 18 needs an Advance Health Care Directive & Durable Power of Attorney. If you have assets, you should also have a Will & a Living Trust. If you have minor children, you should also have a Kids Protection Plan.

She raised a great point that many parents don’t think about (I didn’t!);  both of my older kids are in college  – go watch the show to find out the important legal documents that all young adults need to have in place.

During the segment Alexis shares what legal documents you must have in place for you, and your kids! At the end, listen as she explains, what you should look for and the questions you should ask when searching for the perfect attorney to handle your family planning for a lifetime.

If you have college age kids, like I do, this is a VERY TIMELY and IMPORTANT topic. Make sure BOTH you and your adult kids have these important documents in place to avoid problems in the event they are injured or incapacitated.

Before you send them back to school, make sure these documents are in place!

If you have prepared these documents in the past, be sure to have them reviewed for compliance with HIPAA laws! Our office can help you with those needs, as well as the Kids Protection Plan, Wills and Living Trusts. If we can help you with these things, please contact us at 770.425.6060 or info-blog@georgiafamilylaw.com.