A Public Tragedy Highlights The Necessity Of A Living Will

Former NBA player Lamar Odom is fighting for his life and we are all hoping that he pulls through. There are many important lessons to be learned from this tragic event, one of which shines a light on the importance of a living will. A living will is a written statement detailing an individual’s desires regarding their medical treatment in circumstances in which they are no longer able to express informed consent. As of the time this blog is published, current reports state that Mr. Odom remains on life support in a Nevada Hospital, without a living will.
Given that Mr. Odom does not have this crucial estate planning document in place, significant decisions about his health and ultimate vitality lie in the hands of his soon to be ex-wife. Clearly, this type of situation can raise questions and concerns as to whether the right person is in control of Mr. Odom’s critical care decisions. Major life events such as separation, divorce, marriage or death are key reasons to have your estate planning documents reviewed and updated by an attorney; in the face of these major life events, you never know when an emergency will arise.
South Florida based attorney Danielle Stief of Legacy Legal Group, P.A. shares that “The most common thing that I encounter is people calling and saying that their mother or father is sick and need a Power of Attorney, Health Care Surrogate, or Living Will. The first question I ask is if they have capacity, and often times the answer is no, which means it is too late. You must have capacity to sign your advance directives and estate planning documents.”
Once you update your living will, the next logical step is to upload and save this information to your FootprintID portal. FootprintID provides immediate access to your medical records and key estate documents 24 hours a day from any location. Make sure someone will know where to find this information as well.

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