Reorganization part 2: Must have stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night

January 2, 2008 Kyron No Comments

I am blessed to have married into my husband’s family. I love that no matter the struggles, strife or disagreements, when push comes to shove they are there for each other. Take my husband’s beautiful 93 year old grandmother, who our youngest has dubbed GG (for Great-Grandma), for instance. As time marches on, inevitably our bodies don’t operate the way we want. In the past several years she has had to deal with cataracts, falls, broken hips (one side then 2 years later the other side) and most recently, Congestive Heart Failure. GG has lived with my in-laws for years now. Certainly it wasn’t always because of health reasons but at this point, there would be no way she could live alone without assistance. My mother-in-law cares for her day in and day out. My father-in-law is the only one in that house that can drive so he’s responsible for taking care of transporting GG to doctors, and my mother-in-law for prescriptions, groceries and pretty much anything else she needs.

Of course we hope GG is with us for the next 20-30 years, even if that isn’t reality. It’s interesting that when I talk with my my husband and my friends about what we will do when our parents situations will inevitably change, we do so without any shock or surprise. We talk about the planning our parents – and grandparents have done with regards to end of life issues. Now ask those same people (most of whom have children whether special or typical or some combination of the two) what planning they have done with regards to their own end of life planning and you’d think you had just seen a deer in the headlights! Their jaw apparently loses it’s ability to maintain a closed position and the words inevitably sound something like “ Are you nuts? I don’t have to worry about that at my age!” (Ok, some of the words that come out are slightly more colorful than that icon wink Reorganization part 2:  Must have stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night )

This is where I would venture to say to those parents, and to you reading now, you’re completely wrong! No matter how young you are, death is a reality for us all. Parents of special needs children have to be even more concerned probably than parents of typical children (although I find personally I’m just as concerned about my typical child, just in different ways). The difference for me is that the planning needed for my special child requires more thought and effort. I feel in many regards it’s hard to do this kind of planning for our special kids because seeing into the future for them is so much more difficult. You can’t necessarily assume the normal life cycle of education, marriage, children, jobs and so on and so forth. However I say this is all the more reason it has to be addressed, and reviewed regularly. It’s why I’ve put this on my reorganization list as well.

Over the next few days I’m going to write about the process I’m going thru reviewing our various legal documents that plan for a time I am no longer here to protect and care for my family. Maybe as someone who lost a parent at a fairly early age I feel that responsibility more acutely. It’s not gloom and doom either, it’s actually a process that gives me an opportunity to dream – and dream big for my special Katherine and assure that I give people I love but leave behind the roadmap and tools they need to do for her as I would want.

I’ll be covering the following over the next few days:

  • Wills
  • Healthcare Power of Attorney
  • Durable Power of Attorney
  • Living Wills
  • HIPPA Authorization
  • Special Need Trusts
  • Letter of Intent/Life Plan

Hopefully this series will starts a dialog with you and your loved ones. I know people who feel that discussions of this nature are morbid and distasteful and maybe they are a tad distasteful. But I think it’s an incredibly important and loving thing to do for your child. Don’t wait….start thinking and talking today.

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Categories : General, Legal

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