Making End Of Life changes to a will.
The following represents an actual call regarding someone making end-of-life decisions while in hospice. The question our caller asked illustrates a common problem for those individuals that fail to plan for their own cognitive decline.
Q: I’ve been providing end-of-life care for my Elderly Friend. She expressed gratitude for the care and wanted to include me in her will but is currently in hospice, is not ambulatory, and is mentally incompetent. What can we do to meet her wishes?
A: If the Elderly Friend has executed a General Durable Power of Attorney (a “GDPOA”), then the Appointed Agent under the GDPOA can carry out her wishes, either through a contract to pay for the services, or to execute a codicil if the powers are specifically enumerated in the GDPOA. RCW 11.125.240 provides the Appointed Agent with broad powers to carry out her wishes.
Conclusion: The Elderly Friend did not have a GDPOA and due to her incompetency, she could not execute a GDPOA at this time. It was too late. Unfortunately, her wishes could not be carried out and court options were cost prohibitive. Proper estate planning could have avoided this result.
We hope these estate planning tips are helpful as we are dedicated to protect what you have earned!
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