Wednesday, February 27, 2008

When Prior Planning Directives Become Moot Points

When did this Become Acceptable Behavior in the United States of America?

By Albert Henry

Some time back my Mother took ill and, living alone as she does, found herself in what is not an entirely unique position. The effects of cataracts and severe hearing loss were compounded by whatever bug she'd caught and she went to bed to recuperate. Meals became an inconvenience and dehydration aggravated the situation

Family members dutifully converged on the sick bed. It was decided that a caregiver would stay on for a month to take care of the immediate situation while longer range plans could be put in place. It is important to note that my Mother had previously prepared for just such an eventuality by executing her living will and assigning a medical power of attorney, with instructions for specific circumstances, to my sister.

.... she was taken to a medical student who declared her to be suffering from age related dementia and her banking privileges were suspended effective immediately. Her car was transferred into the caregiver's name with the appropriate Texas address. Professional moving services were contacted. A quick valuation of her property and assets was made and a post-dated check on my Mother's account retained a lawyer who filed an "emergency" petition to protect the estate from her. Interestingly the petition was filed on the day it was heard "without notice" which translates from the legalese into something just short of top secret.

The Bank refused to honor the restoration of her civil rights until she could prove her sanity and she was left without the financial wherewithal to satisfy a $15co-pay to the physician who was actually treating her! Meanwhile the legal battle against her, funded as it was by access to her finances, continues unabated with revised editions of the same defunct petition.

When did this become acceptable behavior in the United States of America? How can it be that a widow with the foresight to prepare a will to govern in these exact circumstances can have her wishes overruled without ever being heard or considered while the funds and permission necessary to clear her name are placed in someone else's hands?

Those of us relying on living wills had best beware.

Read entire un edited un abridged account here =>>

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