A few weeks ago, my husband and I were in a car accident when a group of teen drivers took a left turn at an intersection right in front of us. In that moment, there was nothing we could do to avoid the collision. It happened so fast. Luckily, everyone was okay. I did suffer a large gash on the forehead and several bumps and bruises.
As we waited for the paramedics to arrive, my head was bleeding profusely. I was worried that I was going to pass out, and even more worried because I had left the house without my wallet. We live in a small community, and if I'm going to be out and about with my husband, I hardly ever take my purse or my wallet with me. That night, we had gone downtown to have dinner at a mom and pop place and was heading to Walmart to pick up a few things. As I sat there with a bleeding head, I realized I didn't have any identification and I was without my Legal Directives card.
When our clients engage our firm for estate planning services, we offer them the chance to enroll in a service where an executed Health Care Power of Attorney and Living Will are digitally stored with other emergency information. Although there are several companies that offer this document storage, our firm has chosen to work with Legal Directives. Once the enrollment process is completed, Legal Directives mails out a card that's complete with the client's information, along with directions for doctors and emergency professionals to request a copy of these stored documents. In the event that you need to provide your Health Care Power of Attorney or Living Will and don't have a physical copy on hand, you can pull out the Legal Directives card that should be kept in your wallet. And just like that, your physician can get the documents they need to work with your Power of Attorney. We carry our insurance cards in our wallets and even proof of our car insurance. Now with services like Legal Directives, we can carry proof of our Health Care Power of Attorney, too!
When I share this service with our clients, I always encourage their participation. To get my point across, I offer up an over-the-top scenario so they can better understand how the service works. Sitting in the car that night, riding in the ambulance and even in the emergency room, I felt lost without that card. At that moment it was the most valuable thing in my wallet. I never thought I would be in a real scenario where I would need it. Considering our plans for that evening, it was natural for me to be caught without my Health Care Power of Attorney or Living Will. Who keeps a copy of that in the glove box or in their purse? But with Legal Directives, you basically do have them in your glove box or purse…if you take it with you. Guess who won't be caught without her's again… me!
I was lucky enough to not need my Power of Attorney that night. I was completely alert and able to make my own healthcare decisions. Had the situation been worse, I would have been up a creek! We never know when something such as a jaunt through town might take a tragic turn. Powers of Attorney are important for everyone…. even young adults. Sure, we never think we are going to need them, but you don't want to wait until you're sitting in a banged up car, waiting for paramedics to decide it's time to get them in place.
Schedule a complimentary consultation to consider what estate planning might mean for you and your family. Our team is here to help you each step of the way. We listen to what your goals are and what you want. Then, we put the documents in place to support your goals. Want to learn more?