Saturday, June 13, 2009

Five Wishes

Often I will have clients or seminar attendees who ask me about the Five Wishes form. This is a form that is designed to take the legalese out of advance directives. Yes, it may be easier for the person to understand....but according to this blog post, it may also deminish the legal effect of the document. These documents may initially make estate planning more affordable, but not if in the end you need to hire a lawyer to do a guardianship or litigate a form. As I often say, it is less expensive to bring a lawyer in to set something up then to hire one to clean up a mess.

If you are thinking about advance directives, good for you. Just make sure you are investing your time and money into something that will hold up if needed.


Anonymous said...

The response from Aging with Dignity doesn't point out that there is a national law that says providers have to honor your wishes in whatever way they are expressed. Sure, anybody can come up with 50 reasons why something might not work, but if there have been no cases in 12 years, that says something.

Melinda Gustafson Gervasi said...

Good point, however, I often hear of nursing homes not recognizing documents and the family opts for guardianship. If they don't challenge the issue in court, there won't be a record of cases.

An inexpensive way is to complete state forms; Wisconsin's are available on the DHS web site and are free.