Dying on your terms and POLST

My grandma is 98 years old…. or should I say 98 years YOUNG!?  She called last week to tell me about a great article in the LA Times.  It’s about dying on YOUR TERMS. In fact, the headline in the paper was “Dying on your Own Terms” and the headline online is “How to Help Ensure you Die on your Own Terms.”  You get the point though. Here’s a link to that article.  LINK.

Though very healthy at 98 she is a realist. She’s 98 for gosh sakes! Stuff happens and she is aware of it. She has been saying for 20 years that all her friends are dying. So, at her request, I am sending her a few extra copies of the article to share around her care home.

Also, at her request, I am sending the latest POLST form. The POLST form or “pink sheet” is a document for you to go over with your physician. It’s not for the lawyer.  However, I will provide you a link. The state has a bunch of great information on the POLST form. Here’s a link to the page. LINK.

The key with all of this type of stuff is to talk to your loved ones and talk to your doctors. Do not assume and do not ignore. TALK it out!

Best of luck to you and your loved ones.

-John

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FREE California Health Care Directive

No this is not as good as meeting with an attorney and getting a proper document made up. However, if you are in a pinch and need a document fast this should work.  Here is the link to the UCSF Medical Center Advanced Health Care Directive. It would work anywhere in California and probably anywhere in the country. Make your wishes known!

http://www.ucsfhealth.org/pdf/advance_health_care_directive.pdf

California Living Trust Package

What documents should your California living trust package have?  A lot of clients think a trust is the only document. However, it’s not. Far from it!  There are a number of documents that a properly prepared California revocable “living” trust package should have. Here is a brief summary of each:

California Revocable Living Trust – The main document for sure.

Schedule of Assets – Typically attached to the trust but sometimes a separate document showing what assets are “in” the trust.

Pour Over Will – Yes, you still need a will. It’s very basic.

Nomination of Guardians – If you have minors you need a document to appoint guardians. It can be in in your will or a separate document.

Durable Power of Attorney – This covers financial and quasi-financial matters that are not covered by the trust.

Advanced Health Care Directive – This can also be called a “living will” or a Power of Attorney for Health Care.

HIPPA Release – The importance of being able to access your medical records is more important all the time.

Certified Extract of Trust – Some attorneys call it a “certified abstract.” It’s just a summary of the trust.

General Transfer – Not all attorneys agree on this one but to me it’s proper for most clients to have.

Deed – Some use a quitclaim deed and others a grant deed but, in any case, a DEED to transfer your real estate to your trust is important.

Transfer Letters – Sometimes we will prepare letters for banks and financial institutions to aid in the transfer of assets to the trust. In some cases it’s really easier if you can go into the bank in person.

Change of Beneficiary Forms – We will help you complete the needed beneficiary forms to make sure life insurance and other payable on death assets are properly connected to your trust.

Instruction Letter – We give you a letter which summarizes how assets should be owned in the name of the trust and also how beneficiaries should be titled to best carry out your wishes. 

Faux Leather Binder – That’s optional and not something we usually do. I am more worried about the quality of the DOCUMENTS than their storage receptacle!

Call me with questions about your estate plan!  -John