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Mar 1, 2022

Advanced Medical Directives

Paul: Hi and welcome to Wealth Protector TV, this is Paul Hitchcock with the asset protection estate planning firm “Barth Calderon” and have my guest on is Kraig Strom the paralegal at the firm and welcome Kraig!

Kraig: Hey, good to see you Paul!

Paul: Yeah, so we are jumping right into these two very important components of your estate plan the Advanced Medical Directives and the Financial Power of Attorneys. Let us start with advanced medical directives correct tell us what is that all about.

Kraig: Well, first, the Advanced Medical Directive also called a Power of Attorney for Health Care it is your legal document that ensures that your medical decisions and your end of life wishes are followed. It is a document that allows you to give that power to a proxy to someone called an agent who can act on your behalf if you’re unconscious for a medical procedure or there’s been an accident where you’re going to recover perhaps but you’re going to be unconscious for a period of time and we need somebody to be able to talk to the doctors on your behalf.

Paul: Who do you pick for that person Kraig, can it be anybody?

Kraig: It can be generally anybody. Do you want to pick just anyone? That is a tough question. I guess, a way to think about this is that you may want to choose someone as your power of attorney for health care but then you might stop and wonder is this going to be too difficult of a position to put that person in. I mean, they are talking to doctors and maybe in some serious situations. Do you want to make perhaps a young son or daughter your agent in that case or would it make more sense to have an older family member, sister brother best friend that might be a bit more well prepared to deal with something that’s tough like that.

Paul: Makes a lot of sense, because you cannot have somebody who is going to have a problem dealing with the hospital environment, being under stress, right? You need somebody who really has to pull together. It makes a lot of sense.

Kraig: Absolutely! I am sure you agree Paul that you know one of the most stressful places that you could be is in a hospital and then being asked by medical professionals like “what does your sister or brother want to have done what would they do?”

Paul: Right, and doctors and hospitals will ask for this document. 

Kraig: Oh absolutely! Paul, there is no doubt about it. Whether you are married or not the medical facility, the hospital the clinic, a nursing home, whatever it might be, absolutely are going to ask for that document.

Paul: And Kraig, is this a form that is filled out when you’re putting together your estate plan like when you’re walking people through it, is it there’s a conversation and forms filled out and does it get recorded anywhere?

Kraig: Good question. The power of attorney for healthcare, the advanced medical directive is always a part of a comprehensive estate plan. If you do it right, you really should have that as part of the comprehensive estate plan. Is it recorded anywhere? No, generally not. The only place that that medical directive is recorded if we want to call it that is at the hospital or medical facility where you might up for care. That is where they will keep it on file and have that for their records and their legal protection as a medical facility. They want to have that power of attorney on file.

Paul: Got it! So, medical power of attorney advanced medical directive get it done.

Kraig: Absolutely, totally get it done.

Paul: Excellent!

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