..... now that some time has passed since Terri Schiavo's death, it's time to talk about the impact of her case on our own lives. plk
Two Documents You Need to Protect Yourself in the Event of the Ultimate What-If
By Suze Orman
Would you want to inflict searing heartache on the people who love you?
Of course not.
Each and every one of you has the power to make sure you never do that—to spare your loved ones the same heartache that has haunted Michael Schiavo and Robert and Mary Schindler.
In May 1998, Schiavo first asked the courts to consider the legality of removing the feeding tube that sustained his wife Terri after a debilitating 1990 heart attack left her brain-damaged. Since then, those who love Terri have gone through unfathomable anguish and despair.
And all of it could have been avoided.
If Terri had just put in writing what she wanted to happen to her in the event she became too ill to express her own wishes, the excruciating legal battle that would never have happened.
Please, my friends—no matter what your position on the Terry Schiavo case—understand one thing. The only way to salvage anything positive from this tragedy is to learn one simple lesson: With an Advance Directive and a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care, you can control what happens to you if you become too ill to speak for yourself. You can spare your loved ones untold misery by telling them exactly what you want for yourself.
Isn’t that a gift you want to give?
You probably know I’m a big believer in building an emergency cash fund to deal with unanticipated "what-ifs" in your financial life. Well, if the ultimate “what-if” happens—you can no longer express what you want, and your doctors and loved ones can’t agree on what they think is best for you—an Advance Directive and a Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA) for Health Care are the emergency documents that protect you, and your family. Notice that I said think. When you don’t have an Advance Directive and DPOA for Health Care, the real tragedy is that no one knows what you want. Court battles can ensue, as we have seen.
What if? Three Steps to Take Now to Prepare
Here’s what you need to do to make sure you, and your family, are never put into that position. more...
More great advice on Suze's blog.