Where are your wills?
I asked my mother “Where are your wills?”
She pulled a faded, hand-written document out of a drawer. (My mother was organized, she knew where every piece of paper was filed.)
The will was from 1963, before Patty, our youngest sister was born. Should my parents die prematurely, it left the three sisters and all their assets to our maternal grandparents.
A bit outdated since my grandparents had passed away and the FOUR of us were adults. I informed my parents we would be updating their wills. (This was not an option.)
Before going to the attorney, I consulted with my sisters as to whom should be the executor and alternative. They all agreed I should be in charge, and Patty should be second. The “assets” would be split between the four of us (which was ultimately a non-issue.)
I found an attorney offered at a discount by AARP, and off went my parents and me to set their affairs in order.
The attorney helped us complete wills and power of attorney documents. Dad was confused by the medical power of attorney/advance directive, so we took it home to complete.
My mother assured us she wanted no extra measures; when it was her time to go, she wished to pass on without any artificial means of resuscitation. This is called “DNR” – Do Not Resuscitate. (In spite of having this document, at every hospital visit they would ask again if her desire was DNR.)
My father was another story. He did (sort of) agree that there should be no extra measures to keep him alive. When it came to the specific questions, he became confused and could not make specific decisions regarding care should he become incompetent.
“Dad, do you want any extra measures to prolong your life?” No.
“Do you want nutrition through a tube?” I don’t know.
“Would you want extra hydration, like an IV?” I don’t know.
“Do you want medications…” I don’t know.
Finally, I said, “Dad, let’s just put down it’s up to your caregivers.” Okay.
I did not know then how real those type of decisions would become.