Monday, April 16, 2012

Health Care Decision Day, April 16, 2012

Governor Scott Walker has declared April 16, 2012 as Health Care Decision day in Wisconsin.  According to the Governor's Office, only 20 percent of Wisconsinites have the proper paperwork in place.  Lack of information is sited as the primary reason.  To help with the missing information, please note:

  • a power of attorney for health care allows you to appoint someone to make your health care decisions if you are not able to.  Whether to have surgery or sign admission papers to a long-term care facility are examples of functions of a health care agent;
  • a living will is your statement to your medical team about your wishes if you are in an end of life states -- essentially whether you want machines to keep you alive if you are terminally ill with no hope of recovery within 12 months or you have a permanent loss of consciousness; and
  • a power of attorney for finance allows you to appoint someone to handle your financial affairs if you are too sick.  Paying your mortgage, signing tax returns, or talking with your retirement plan are typical examples of jobs a power of attorney for finance completes.
Learn more about Health Care Decision Day on the State of Bar of Wisconsin's web site.  Forms are available for free, and attorneys charge a wide range of prices to assist with this process.  It may be more affordable than you would guess.

Remember, a blog is not legal advice.....rather a discussion for issues related to illness, death and taxes.


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