Brent Coldiron can help
you plan ahead!

The documents known as “advance directives” or “living wills” are for medical purposes and compliment wills and trusts. Advance directives anticipate future incapacity by allowing people to make their wishes known in the event they are no longer able to express themselves. One such document, known as the “living will” or “health care directive,” is approved by Oklahoma law and in it you can set forth your person’s desires with respect to future medical care. You can actually spell out in your own handwriting specific requests. If you want to go with what the Oklahoma advance directive for heath care provided, you can decide to have extraordinary medical measures withheld but receive food and water, you can decide to not receive any extraordinary medical measures and no artificial food and water (feeding tube installed in stomach or intestines, or you can elect to receive all possible artificial medical measures and artificial food and water to keep you alive for as long as possible. The advance directive for health care only applies if you are terminally ill (death within the last 6 months, but as a practical matter it is used in the last week of life), persistently unconscious (brain dead) of have an end stage condition (the end of a long struggle with a long term terminal illness (Parkinson’s, Alzheimers, etc.). The advance directive only applies if one of those circumstances exist. For normal life and day to day medical treatment, for example, you are out of it and cannot make a decision, there is the “health care proxy,” or “durable power of attorney for health care,” which allows a person to designate an agent or attorney-in-fact who will make future decisions on behalf of the person who may later become incapacitated. Finally, a “durable power of attorney” is used for financial transactions. Oklahoma has a statutory durable power of attorney for real estate and financial transactions, and a general durable power of attorney. It is a good idea to put both in place. Some financial institutions prefer one over the other. Do not forget to nominate a legal guardian just in case a guardianship is later needed. This avoids the normal fighting over who will be appointed guardian and insures that your wishes are carried out. Each document helps people control their fates in accordance with their values and wishes. When you are putting in place your powers of attorney it would make sense to have your will or trust made. By using a will you can control who inherits your property at your death. By using a revocable trust you can also avoid probate. Planning ahead for possible incapacitating events and your death makes sense. It assures that your wishes are carried out.

If you need an experienced probate, will and trust attorney, contact Brent D. Coldiron, attorney at law, 1800 E. Memorial Road, Suite 106, Oklahoma City, OK 73131 or 2801 Parklawn Drive, Suite 503, Midwest City, OK 73110; telephone (405) 478-5655 and 737-2244. Brent has over 42 years experience handling a variety of legal matters, including probates, will, trusts, business formation, elder law, Medicaid qualification for nursing home care, corporations and guardianships. Ask Brent how to protect your estate from nursing home spend down. Call Brent, he knows what to do!