Preparing for the Final Days

Living Wills and Medical Powers of Attorney eliminate uncertainty

Death or catastrophic illness is not something anyone wants to think about. These are topics that usually are considered discussions for senior citizens, but a traffic accident can change everything. It is possible due to a collision on the road, or a debilitating stroke at home, that an individual may become mentally incapacitated or descend in to a comatose state. A rather nasty set of consequences rise up when this happens. The family doesn’t know what the wishes are of a person who is no longer able to communicate, and that can mean having the patient being on life support systems indefinitely. This increases the anguish of loved ones, but also presents a very expensive dilemma for human resources.

The Torment of Uncertainty

A comatose person might remain in that state for an extended period of time. This places everything in a form of legal limbo. With no instructions to the contrary, he or she may be on life support systems indefinitely. A group legal plan that enables a person to create a living will beforehand is definitely helpful. This type of voluntary benefit outlines exactly what the individual wants done in the event of long-term illness or the possibility of death. Understanding that in the situation of a coma the patient is not able to communicate, the living will gives instructions to the medical staff on what to do.

There still is the question of legally binding decisions that must be made. Again, a group legal plan which covers medical power of attorney allows an employee to appoint an individual to make necessary decisions in the event of a medical emergency. Any voluntary benefit which helps provide a medical power of attorney document makes things much easier for the patient’s family. Legal actions that are necessary can be executed without delay. Countrywide Pre-Paid Legal Services does offer group legal plan options to enable both living will and medical power of attorney documents to be prepared for plan members.

Claims Experience

A catastrophic medical condition creates a dilemma for human resources. Life-support systems are expensive, and the costs generate substantial claims experience. This can be a serious problem if the medical plan of an organization is self-insured. Human resources will note that a voluntary benefit allowing living wills and medical powers of attorney impacts claims experience. If a plan member in a group legal plan benefit gives instructions as to when life-support is to be stopped, the claims experience stops at that point. Although human resources directors would never insist on employees enrolling in a voluntary benefit, providing for legal services that include living wills can encourage employees to consider having one drafted. Claims experience aside, enabling an employee to draft a medical power of attorney or living will helps this individual safeguard the interests of his or her family. It means that these loved ones will not go through the anguish of wondering what to do.

Countrywide attorneys are aware of how sensitive the topic of living wills and medical powers of attorney can be. These legal professionals are selected for interpersonal skills as well as legal expertise. They will see to it that a document drafted for a group legal plan member contains clear language and definite instructions. This professionalism allows for great peace of mind.

Countrywide has helped all kinds of organizations since 1987. We can draft a voluntary benefit that includes the legal options that an employer wants to offer to employees. Legal services are the type of benefit that is greatly appreciated by the workforce, and creates a favorable image of the employer.

We would welcome the opportunity to discuss in detail with any organization all of our legal services, and how they can provide a viable benefit to employees. Contact us today!

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