Recently at the doctor’s office, the assistant, doing her job and having no idea what mine was, began asking me if I had ever heard of an “advance medical directive document.”
I replied “yes,” and she went on to say that if I don’t have one, I should, and that if I wanted one, they had “the forms” and could help me fill one out.
I said “thanks,” which was followed by a long pause. Her mandate was clearly to go further, and she was waiting for me to say something more. She then asked whether I would like to do one. I replied “no thanks,” and took her off the hook by explaining, “I have one already.” She countered by asking if they could have a copy.
Advanced medical directives are an important part of estate planning and we do them frequently for our clients, usually as part of a comprehensive plan. At the clinic, however, legal documents are much more incidental. Their main focus is to provide medical care and advice. Yet, I appreciate that they recognize the importance of these documents and have taken on a small portion of estate planning to help our shared patients/clients.
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