News 4 at 4

Jun 27, 2012 7:47 PM

Legal on 4: Making difficult decisions about aging parents

TUCSON - Our legal contributor, Craig Wisnom, stopped by the News 4 Tucson studios today to discuss the important decisions families must make as their parents get older.

He says there are both legal and practical steps we can take to reduce unnecessary complications in dealing with parents care, as they age.

Here are some tips from his discussion with Allison:

1. First, any individual can take steps through their own personal estate planning to clarify their wishes and make things easier for their family. If there is disagreement in the family, or you want someone else to make your decisions, this is even more important.

2. A medical power of attorney appoints the person you want to make medical decisions, when they cannot.

3. A living will, bluntly, says whether or not you want them to "pull the plug" and in what situations.

4. Craig also discussed general powers of attorney and revocable trusts.

5. Legally, without that type of planning, children may need to proceed through the court to make decisions for their parents, and that is much more expensive and difficult.

6. Whether you are the parent or child, discussions of these issues while everyone is still alert and mentally capable is so important. To hear, face to face, what your loved one wants, will give the decision-makers more certainty and comfort when the wrenching questions arise.

7. Don't be afraid to ask questions to different doctors.

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