What Your Mother Really Needs!

For this Mothers’ Day, I humbly suggest that Mothers around the world, especially moms “of a certain age” with grown children, would enjoy far more a useful and practical gift as opposed to fattening chocolate or dying flowers that provoke allergies.

Similar to the trend when Karen Ann Quinlan overdosed or Terri Schiavo was in a coma due to her horrific bulimia, the Covid-19’s devastating effects have led to an awareness of the usages and limitations of ventilators. Families are again more cognizant of the ethical and medical quandaries surrounding terminal illnesses. With civilization regretfully in the throes of a pandemic, adults everywhere have been focused on their families’ health situations and the legal implications of a loved one becoming ill.

People have been realizing the need for Living Wills and Health Care Powers of Attorney increasingly since March 2020, (We will explore the concomitant necessity for a Last Will and Testament and a Financial (Durable) Power of Attorney at a future date.) A Living Will is a document that a Declarant uses to express one’s preferences if one is suffering from a terminal illness which would prevent them from personally expressing when one does or does not want to “pull the plug,” refrain from blood transfusions, continue dialysis, etc. One appoints a Surrogate or Proxy to be one’s voice to the hospital/physicians as to their wishes.

In Pennsylvania this need not be notarized, but there must be two non-relatives who witness the Declarant’s signature. A Health Care Power of Attorney empowers someone to be one’s Agent to speak on their behalf to authorize medical care on their behalf. If one is unconscious, suffering from dementia, etc., then one would need to have the comfort of knowing that a person is concerned for their health and is lawfully permitted to agree to surgery, hospital admission, nursing home admission, etc. for the Principal. 

These are two of the four primary documents that every adult should have prepared and safely stored. They should all seamlessly work hand-in-hand (along with a Financial Power and a Will) to ensure that your loved ones and advisors clearly understand your plans and goals for your possessions and your medical care. When you choose to lovingly obtain these documents for your mother, you don’t even need to know her size!

Just for the record, there’s nothing saying you can’t give your mother chocolate AND help keep her legally safe. Especially after all of her chocolate you got into when you were a kid. She knows.

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