Phinney Estate Law's Jamie Clausen is pleased to have been appointed to the Advisory Board for the Phinney Neighborhood Association's Greenwood Disaster Relief Advisory Board along with other leaders from the community. The Board will be advising the PNA on how to support the community from the generous donations coming in in the wake of the explosion last week. Plans are already in place to provide grants to the residents displaced by the explosion and employees at the destroyed and gravely impacted businesses. The board will be creating guidelines on how to provide continuing support to these groups and the affected businesses. The need is great and we hope clients and friends will consider making a donation to the PNA to support this important work.
A legacy parenting plan is a non-legal document you leave to the individuals you select to be your child’s guardian and/or property manager to assist them in fulfilling their roles. The format and content can be whatever you want.
Questions you might want to answer include:
What are those things that you have done or said as a parent of which you are particularly proud? What are the biggest mistakes you feel you have made?
What are some techniques you tried as a parent that elicited an overwhelmingly positive response in your child? What have you tried that failed miserably? What are your favorite parenting books and why?
The details of a difficult parenting situation that you have handled that could be the framework for handling similar circumstances. How you plan to handle expected parenting issues like dating, allowance, drugs use, fights, etc.
What aspects of your guardian’s parenting you admire that led you to select them? What aspects of your property manager’s judgment you admire that led you to select them?
The plan might also include a statement of what you consider your deepest values and most important lifestyle choices and the steps you have taken to help cultivate these qualities in your child. You might also want to include any family rituals and traditions that you would want carried on.
You may also want to take some time to describe you children as individuals. What makes them unique? What are their strengths? What are their interests?
What do they have a flair for and what talents have you tried to nurture?
A few additional areas to write about could include: food restrictions and/or special needs; educational philosophy (i.e. describe your ideal school); and religious or spiritual upbringing.
Communication is the single most important step in health care planning. Talk about your wishes with the people who may be called upon to speak or decide for you and your family. Why?
When writing an Advance Health Care Directive you can include directions about how the patient wants to receive treatment and what other help and support they want at end of life. Some examples of other directions that can be included are:
Want to learn more? Be sure to contact us for a free 1/2 hour consultation. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 206.459.1908.
When it comes to the topics of organ donation, autopsy and burial, Advance Health Care Directives are very useful, as they are often found and consulted before the Will.
It is also possible to specifically address mental health treatment in a special mental health directive. This can be very useful for a patient who has a history of mental illness such as depression, bipolarity, OCD, or paranoia, because even a duly designated Health Care Agent cannot authorize some forms of mental health treatment unless they have specific permission in such a directive.
For clients who have already received a diagnosis of a serious chronic or terminal decision or a family history of such conditions, we recommend that they sit down with their medical provider to request their insight into what choices are most likely to be made and risks and benefits of the various options and incorporate that into their documents.
The New York Times did a wonderful article this week on complicated grief. At Phinney Estate Law we work with a lot of clients dealing with grief. I would agree with the expert quoted in this article that a factor that can make the difference between grief where people are still able to manage their lives and complicated grief is the circumstances of death including whether there was adequate planning by the deceased about end of life care to allow that process to be conflict free and directed. That is why we always include medical powers of attorney and advanced health care directives in our all of our planning and encourage clients to see this as part of the legacy they leave their family. If you would like more information on how to create this kind of planning, please contact us for a free 1/2 consultation at (206) 459-1908 or email@example.com.
1. Keep the original copy of your Advance Health Care Directive and other estate planning documents some place they can be easily found in your home - not your safety deposit box!
2. Give your chosen Health Care Agent a copy of you Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care and Advance Health Care Directive. Make sure that your agent knows where to find the original.
3. Give your doctor a copy of your directive, and make certain it is put in your medical records. If your doctor is not affiliated with any hospital you may also send a copy to the nearest hospital.
4. If entering a hospital or nursing home, take a copy of your directive with you and ask that it be placed in your medical records.
5. Some people choose to keep a card with directions to finding their directive in their wallet.
6. When medics enter your home in an emergency they will look in your bedside table, on your refrigerator door and on your bedroom door. You may want to leave a copy in one of these locations.
An Advanced Health Care Directive is a document that we recommend all clients complete. This is a guide for a patient’s agent(s) and doctors regarding what health care choices the patient would like to make if they can’t speak for themselves.
While doctors are not required to follow a directive, if they are unwilling to, they must make every reasonable effort to transfer the patient to a doctor who is willing to obey the instructions.
The statute recommends that directives include information about whether the patient would want resuscitation and/or artificial food or hydration if they were either terminally ill or in a permanent unconscious condition. In our experience these directives are more useful if they provide more guidance to doctors and families.
When working with clients who are not currently facing a terminal diagnosis, we ask them to consider various scenarios and decide what treatment philosophies they would want to guide their doctor and agent in making decisions about their care.
Questions? We can help. Contact us by email or call 206.459.1908 for more information.
A beneficiary is a named recipient of a gift.
The beneficiary designation is the document that names a beneficiary of a contract such as an annuity, life insurance policy, or retirement account. Beneficiaries can also be designated in a person's Last Will and Testament or in a Trust.
This is quite different than the more traditional heir...
Historically, heirs are the class of persons entitled to take or share, in whole or in part, any real property of an intestate decedent, now generally broadened to include all the property of an intestate decedent who hasn't named beneficiaries.
Instead having to abide by a document, heirs receive inheritance. For probate purposes, inheritance is receipt of property from an intestate decedent, by right of succession rather than by will.
For community property characterization or estate tax purposes, inheritance is receipt of property simply as a result of death.
Beneficiaries and heirs are not always the same people and do not necessarily have the same rights or receive their property in the same way.
To learn more about how to make sure those you want to inherit at your death receive what you would like, contact us to schedule a free 1/2 hour consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org
This Blog is written by Seattle Attorneys Jamie Clausen & Michael Ballnik.