Posts Tagged ‘Kenney Hegland’

Online Video Gives Advice On How to Write Your Living Will

MARCH 1 , 2010  VOLUME 17, NUMBER 7

Everyone should sign a living will and (perhaps more importantly) a health care power of attorney. You knew that already, right? But how should one go about preparing a living will?

The answer is deceptively simple. Forms are widely available online, from health care providers and from aging advocacy organizations (to name just a few places). One of the best in Arizona (because it is well-formatted and easy to get to) is offered by the Arizona Attorney General’s office. Those forms are generally fine, though obviously neither comprehensive nor customized. Your lawyer can (and probably will) prepare a more extensive and personalized document as part of your estate plan — your will and (if you create one) your living trust.

Be aware of state variations. Your state may refer to the health care power of attorney as a health care “proxy,” or call your agent a “patient advocate.” You will want to make sure any forms you use are appropriate for your state — that may not require the involvement of a lawyer, but your estate planning lawyer will be able to address the same questions while preparing your estate plan.

Most people will want to sign both a living will and a health care power of attorney, though the common practice in many states (including Arizona) is to incorporate both into a single document. Depending on your state there may even be other kinds of “advance directives” to consider — like a mental health power of attorney, or an authorization for autopsy, organ donation and/or cremation (Arizona permits all of those additional directives).

More important than the particular advance directive you sign, however, is the information you provide to family members. That’s the point of a new online video offered (in two parts) by retired University of Arizona law professor Kenney HeglandPart 2 stands alone, but the two segments really work better together. Incidentally, Prof. Hegland (along with Fleming & Curti partner Robert Fleming) is the author of New Times, New Challenges: Law and Advice for Savvy Seniors and Their Families, and his advice is practical as well as legal.

Your advance directives are most useful if they are highly personalized. Clear directions and full information will increase the likelihood that your wishes are carried out, and provide your family with both comfort and direction.

Professor Hegland’s two-part video is at once entertaining and useful. He suggests that you write out your thoughts on end-of-life care, and provide your loved ones with explanations along with your actual instructions. You can also address related issues — what you want your obituary to highlight, who should speak at your funeral services, and more.

There are a handful of useful video resources available online addressing living wills and advance directives. Oddly, few of them offer practical advice about writing or signing the documents themselves. Most are promotional pieces by attorneys or online legal forums, describing the meaning and perhaps the importance of the documents. Three notable exceptions you might look at if you like Prof. Hegland’s submission: (1) a touching description, complete with family interviews, of the care forced upon Robert Wendland and his family when he was critically injured without having signed an advance directive — in two parts, (2) the cute but not terribly informative class project of a student named Maha, performed with a CPR dummy, and (3) the Arizona Attorney General’s dramatization about life care planning, including living wills and advance directives (to play this video, go to the AG’s “life care planning” page and click on the video link under “Life Care Planning For Everyone”).

Alive and Kicking: New Book Offers Legal Advice to Boomers

APRIL 16, 2007  VOLUME 14, NUMBER 42

Ironies abound as the leading edge of the “Baby Boom” generation heads into its 60s (and retirement). The generation that vowed never to trust anyone over 30 will shortly have to figure out minimum distribution rules from Individual Retirement Accounts, Medicare’s Part D coverage and its limitations, and how to deal with the physical declines and personal losses that accompany aging. A new book released this month may help them navigate some of the currents and shoals.

Authors Kenney Hegland (professor of law at the University of Arizona) and Robert Fleming (elder law attorney with the Tucson firm of Fleming & Curti, PLC, editor of Elder Law Issues and webmaster for elder-law.com) have announced the release of Alive and Kicking: Legal Advice for Boomers. The new book is available online at Amazon.comBarnes & Noble and by special order from bookstores everywhere.

“We were going to call the book Geezer’s Law, but cooler heads prevailed,” write the authors. The book is infused with humor, filled with sly cultural references, and fun to read. Dr. Andrew Weil, author of Healthy Aging, calls it “an engaging, even uplifting, book about a subject most of us who are getting on in life often avoid: arranging our affairs for our latter years to avoid medical, financial, and legal troubles. I will use it myself and recommend it to patients, friends, and loved ones.”

Topics covered include advice on health care, estate planning, divorce, remarriage, starting a business, living wills, nursing homes and more. You can read about how to protect yourself from scams, age discrimination and elder abuse. You can gain insight into the important questions that accompany the condition of aging: What can you do to make your own children treat you better than you did your parents? Will you have to give up both driving and sex?

“If you are getting older (or hope to),” write the authors, “you’ve picked up the right book.” Hegland and Fleming believe that the condition of geezerhood should not be accompanied by a loss of intellectual interest. Instead, “we’ll come and go, talking of Michelangelo, telling bad jokes, and reciting wonderful poetry: spoonfuls of spice with your maturity medicine.”

“Studies tell us that learning new things is good exercise and Alive and Kicking is one heck of a workout,” writes Joy Loverde, author of The Complete Eldercare PlannerBaird Brown, pioneering elder law attorney, describes Alive and Kicking as “a must read for anyone who wants to understand many of life’s imponderable questions,” and Professor Rebecca Morgan, former President of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, calls it “a truly valuable resource for everyone needing to learn more about the issues that they, or their parents, will face”

©2017 Fleming & Curti, PLC