FREE Advance Care Planning Seminar

Be our guest at this FREE Legal Tools and Advance Funeral Planning Seminar. Enjoy refreshments and get some answers to your questions! Relax with your friends and neighbors, invite a family member, and visit with the speakers after the program. You’ll also be able to enter a door prize drawing and receive a FREE information packet to take home!

LEGAL TOOLS

Jill Sauber and Brenna Galvin, Attorneys at Maser, Amundson, Boggio & Hendricks, P.A., will explain which legal tools can help protect your family. Powers of attorney, wills, trusts, and health care directives…which documents are appropriate for you?

ADVANCE FUNERAL PLANNING

Jane Mellas, Prearrangement Specialist and Licensed Funeral Director with Washburn-McReavy Funeral Chapels, will explore the question of how advance funeral planning can help protect our loved ones. How can you give them peace of mind on one of the hardest days of their lives?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

10:00 a.m. or 6:00 p.m.

Blaine Prearrangement Center

10450 Baltimore Street N.E.

Blaine, MN 55449

RSVP 763-231-0506

 Statistics show almost 70% of us are unprepared in one or more of these vitally important areas of Planning. Don’t be another statistic!

We look forward to seeing you at our FREE seminar!

Click Here for Advance Planning Seminar pdf

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What Is The Difference Between A Health Care Directive And A POLST Form?

This question is one that many patients and their families ask. Even though a Health Care Directive and a Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) form deliver similar instructions, it is important to know the particulars of both.

A Health Care Directive is a unique legal document that provides individuals and those close to them with peace of mind in the event of unforeseen circumstances like a car accident or a fall. If a person becomes incapacitated and is no longer able to communicate wishes for his or her health or personal care, a Health Care Directive allows him or her to convey treatment preferences to doctors and to appoint a Health Care Agent to act on his or her behalf. It is smart for all adults to have one prepared to ensure that their wishes are followed medically. Keep in mind that Health Care Directive laws and the definitions of key medical terms vary from state to state, which makes it particularly helpful to meet with an Elder Law attorney to ensure that your Health Care Directive has been drafted and executed properly.

A POLST form is different than a Health Care Directive primarily because it must be written and signed by a physician. When filling out the form, doctors converse directly with their patients and record directions about what to do if they become unable to speak for themselves. Examples of topics that doctors and patients discuss are who should make medical decisions on behalf of the patient (if a Health Care Agent has not already been appointed) and whether or not to attempt life-sustaining measures, such as CPR after cardiac arrest. While Health Care Directives are prepared in advance of medical issues, POLST forms are completed when a new critical medical condition arises or when changes to a current condition take place.

What makes a POLST form particularly useful is its ability to give end-of-life instructions when no Health Care Directive is available. However, those with a Health Care Directive can also complete a POLST form with their doctor since it adds more detail to the guidelines already established. Plus, POLST forms are easily recognizable – the doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals attending to patients can quickly navigate and spot the key information on the document.

For general information about Health Care Directives from the Minnesota Department of Health, visit www.health.state.mn.us/divs/fpc/profinfo/advdir.htm. If you would like more information about POLST forms, check out www.polst.org. To learn about state-specific laws and terms or to draft a Health Care Directive, be sure to consult with an Elder Law attorney.

Health Care Directives

Kris L. Maser, shareholder and Elder Law Department chair for Maser Amundson, P.A.

It’s that time of year again: children graduating from high school – when they prepare to spread their wings and fly off to college.  For the first time the kids won’t be at home and underfoot.  Additionally, after they turn 18 they are legally adults.  We, as parents, won’t have input anymore in what they eat, where they go or who they hang with.  More importantly, we parents won’t have input into their health care.  We will have no right to access health records and no right to make substitute decisions for the kids regarding their health care issues.

The most timely graduation present or 18th birthday present for your child (and for you as parents) is to send them to their first meeting with an attorney to discuss issues surrounding their health.  All people over the age of 18 should have a Health Care Directive.  A Health Care Directive allows your child to nominate someone (hopefully his/her parents) to make medical decisions for them in the event of the child’s incapacity.

Knowing my boys were on their way to college and also aware that the brain is not fully developed until the kids are between 25 and 30 years old, I had nightmares of my children drinking, driving  and generally doing what other 18 year old kids do the first year away from home.  I’d lay awake at night waiting for that phone call telling me there had been an accident and the kids were hurt.  I wanted to be able to continue to care for them and be available to help with medical decision making for the kids should something untoward happen.   Once my sons turned 18, I no longer had that authority as a parent.  So my gift to each of my sons was to have them meet with an attorney in our office (alone) to discuss and hopefully complete their Health Care Directives.  This was one of their first adult decisions.  And although they both gave me a hard time about having to meet formally with a lawyer, they did, in fact, agree to do so.

The Health Care Directive is an advance directive where a capacitated adult nominates another person(s) to make medical and other health related decisions for the Principal (in this case one of my sons) in the event they became incapacitated and could not make  decisions independently.  If someone has not given this decision making authority to another (his/her proxy), there is no one who legally can.  The result is the need to establish a guardianship through a court proceeding.  This process is costly and time consuming.  It involves a court hearing and a judicial determination of incapacity.  The Judge will appoint a guardian to make medical decisions who may or may not be the person who should be making the decisions on behalf of your child.

At 18 children never think they could become incapacitated.  The world is their oyster, until a car, diving, skiing, hockey, biking, etc. accident happens that changes their reality.

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