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Old 05-05-2012, 09:59 AM   #1
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Confusing paperwork

As I thought I have settled down the issue of artificial means for my FIL, I checked his health proxy POA paper. Well this was done in 2004 - much later than the living will that was done. This POA paper says only if it is coma, then the POA can pull the plug. This paper has 3 choices spelled out:
The first one is take it off if the situation is not beneficial to prolong, and the second one is for the coma thing. The third one is to keep it no matter what.
My FIL marked the second one only. Coma only. Well he did this in 2004 when he was in the middle of early dementia. We had no idea there was a living will done in 1996 until I found it last year when I cleaned off the room.

Does living will override the health proxy? Given this health proxy, it is confusing again!
Also I thought the last thing the person says counts more? Say, my FIL says no more tubes now?

Nina

Last edited by ninamarc; 05-05-2012 at 10:09 AM.

 
Old 05-05-2012, 04:03 PM   #2
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Re: Confusing paperwork

The last signed document negates any previous documents.... unless it can be proven that he did not understand what he was signing. So the question is, was his mentally capable of making such an important decision with the cognitive impairment he had at the time. Was it after diagnosis?

Love, deb

 
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Old 05-05-2012, 08:58 PM   #3
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Re: Confusing paperwork

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
The last signed document negates any previous documents.... unless it can be proven that he did not understand what he was signing. So the question is, was his mentally capable of making such an important decision with the cognitive impairment he had at the time. Was it after diagnosis?

Love, deb
Well, the internet says the living will overrides the healthy proxy as the will says what he wants and the proxy adds something more for self-protection.
When he did the health proxy in 2004, like I said, he was for sure demented - he forgot his living will and the details of the wills. He thought he had to give away his money after his late wife died. But the money was given to him as a spouse. He thought we wanted to change both his will and his late wife's will while the lawyer just asked if he wanted to change his own will! He was definitely demented and his late wife said he had dementia. No diagnosis until 2006.

For sure he was demented in 2004 when he signed the proxy because he forgot he had another health proxy with his late wife as POA back then in 1996.

Nina

Last edited by ninamarc; 05-05-2012 at 09:00 PM.

 
Old 05-05-2012, 09:18 PM   #4
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Re: Confusing paperwork

Nina, you might want to take this up with a lawyer. Each state is different in their paperwork and process. No good lawyer should have an individual sign a legal document unless they know he is of sound mind. I am not sure how you go about negating a document for those reasons. I also don't know how binding his wishes are if your husband is his health care power of attorney. The decision may very well lie with him regardless.

Love, deb

 
Old 05-06-2012, 06:44 AM   #5
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Re: Confusing paperwork

Nina,

You need to consult an attorney with expertise in that area, in the district, state or province where he is located.

These rules could vary by country or state.

Almost everywhere in North America, however, the courts are conservative with regard to interpreting the documents if there is any contradiction in them and lean toward preserving the person's life. In other words if it "could" go either way a court will usually go in the direction of keeping the person alive.

My eldercare attorney said documents made in the mild stage might hold up if they seemed consistent with the other body of documentation but would always be open to question, as would verbal wishes.

Your case might be different.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ninamarc View Post
As I thought I have settled down the issue of artificial means for my FIL, I checked his health proxy POA paper. Well this was done in 2004 - much later than the living will that was done. This POA paper says only if it is coma, then the POA can pull the plug. This paper has 3 choices spelled out:
The first one is take it off if the situation is not beneficial to prolong, and the second one is for the coma thing. The third one is to keep it no matter what.
My FIL marked the second one only. Coma only. Well he did this in 2004 when he was in the middle of early dementia. We had no idea there was a living will done in 1996 until I found it last year when I cleaned off the room.

Does living will override the health proxy? Given this health proxy, it is confusing again!
Also I thought the last thing the person says counts more? Say, my FIL says no more tubes now?

Nina

 
Old 05-06-2012, 10:50 AM   #6
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Re: Confusing paperwork

Here is the thing I found: The proxy and living will in 1996 say both not to postpone and do postpone!!
It is not because of his dementia: he deliberately marked coma twice in a row in the health proxy (1996 and 2004.) So it is not the issue of his incompetency.

It is the issue that both documents are not of the same conclusion!! The health proxy is not as clear as the living will and maybe that is why he marked coma only. My late MIL marked for not postponing for both living will and health proxy anyway.

Maybe we will ask his estate lawyer...

Nina

Last edited by ninamarc; 05-06-2012 at 10:51 AM.

 
Old 05-06-2012, 11:30 AM   #7
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Re: Confusing paperwork

I would seek out the advice of an eldercare attorney.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ninamarc View Post
Here is the thing I found: The proxy and living will in 1996 say both not to postpone and do postpone!!
It is not because of his dementia: he deliberately marked coma twice in a row in the health proxy (1996 and 2004.) So it is not the issue of his incompetency.

It is the issue that both documents are not of the same conclusion!! The health proxy is not as clear as the living will and maybe that is why he marked coma only. My late MIL marked for not postponing for both living will and health proxy anyway.

Maybe we will ask his estate lawyer...

Nina

 
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