Art (4) baby (5) blogs (3) cleaning (4) Dear Mom (5) educational (13) entertainment (11) Free Stuff (3) fun (8) Grrumbles (4) humor (14) issues (10) lunch (3) Medical (9) My Family (13) pregnancy (1) Preschoolers (5) Products (3) reading (1) safety (4) solutions (19) Teens (1) Toddlers (5) Tweens (3)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Hard Decisions

Randall and I were talking last night about certain issues that are often difficult to discuss. It occurred to me that it would be a good idea to talk about the information here, as well, because parents do find it hard to consider what may happen if they are no longer around to care for their children. And yet, being prepared for that possibility is one of the greatest gifts you can give your children. Parents have a responsibility to make decisions about their lives and the lives of their children in the event of unforseen incidents.

First, you and your partner need to have a Living Will. It may be uncomfortable to discuss these issues and consider the possibility that you may one day be in the position of dealing with the irreversible illness of you or your partner. This important document dictates what will happen to you should you be placed on life support without any chance of recovery. Having this document can save your family a great deal of heart ache and hassle. It also prevents your partner from having to make the decision on his or her own because you've discussed ahead of time what you would want to be done in this situation. There are many sites that can help you create your own living will without any cost at all. After you have this document, you need to make sure a copy is given to your medical providers.

Second, you need a Power of Attorney. Having a power of attorney will determine who you wish to have control of your money and your care should you become incapable of making these decisions on your own. This document has to be completed prior to the time when it is necessary because if you are unable to make decisions about your health and money, then the courts will not recognize your ability to decide who should be in charge. The result could easily be a lengthy battle between relatives to determine who will be in charge of you and your money.

Third, you need a will. You really, really need to have a will when you have children. If you and your partner were to be involved in a fatal accident, the custody of your children is determined by the courts unless you have a will that indicates your wishes. Of course, the courts can still award custody to someone else if they deem your choice to be unsuitable, but it is far more likely that the person you would choose to raise your children in the event that you were gone would get to fulfill that task if you have it in writing. While considering your choice, be sure to include a second and third option just in case your first choice is unwilling or unable to be appointed as legal guardian.

So - if you haven't already - go talk to your partner and make some tough decisions. You do not need a lawyer to create a living will and a power of attorney. These documents can be done online and then printed and notarized.


Petula said...

You're so right about this stuff. Some parents don't get around to doing it or put it off, but these things are essential. Thanks for the reminder.