Monday, January 28, 2019

Signed, Sealed, and Delivered

Recently, I’ve had conversations with loved ones about proper living and end of life legal documents. While I outlined these documents in the 2014 post, Get Your House In Order, I will repeat some of the information here with a bit more explanation due to a recent crisis in my family.

In the last few months, I’ve found there are 2 startling facts:
  • One being the confusion over what the documents are called. When having conversations with loved ones make sure you are talking about the same documents. As a whole, these documents should not be referred to as the will unless you are only talking about the last will and testament.
  • The second thing is that when documents are considered finalized, often the Durable Power of Attorney is not signed and notarized or given to all appropriate parties involved.
Here's the scoop...
Durable Power of Attorney - written authorization for someone to act on your behalf until you die, with regards to personal finances while you are living. I’ll spell this out for you – something can happen to you at any time by accident or sudden illness. Life happens and simply having a document such as this in your file without having it signed in the presence of someone who can officially notarize a document will do you no good. People think it’s there until they need it, then they’ll sign and notarize it. But what if you are unable to sign it because you are incapacitated? This document should be signed and notarized, a copy in your files, and a copy in the files of the designated person who will be your durable. If you have a spouse, one would normally name the spouse and an additional person. If this document is not finalized or has not been given to the designated person, it’s not going to be able to take care of what it was intended to. That could be a real problem for you and anyone else involved.

Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care Decisions - written authorization for someone to act on your behalf, with regards to health care or life-sustaining treatments while you are living and can no longer speak for yourself. Your health care representative should have a copy of this document.

Health Care Directive to Physicians and Family - allows a patient to give instructions about medical treatment; as well as refuse life-sustaining treatment in the event of terminal illness or injury or becoming permanently unconscious. This document helps your health care representative and your doctor insure you wishes are being adhered to. Your health care representative should have a copy of this document.

The above documents are often referred to as your living will because these documents appoint proper representation and guidelines while you are living. After you are deceased is the only time your last will and testament come into the picture.

Last Will and Testament: Written authorization naming someone as personal representative (executor) to manage and distribute your money and property after you are deceased. If you don’t have this, the government will make those decisions for you. I’m guessing many family members would rather not have the information in this document read by anyone before they die - and nobody needs to. A review of documents as I’ve mentioned can be done without reading through the Last Will and Testament.

Community Property Agreement: Allows your spouse to inherit your money and property without having to go through probate. Probate takes time and can be costly.

You can easily find information on the aforementioned documents for the state or country you reside in on the internet or your local library. But a qualified legal advisor can easily walk you through the process. Don’t assume everything has been taken care of. Review your documents and see that all are in order - signed, sealed, and delivered! Don't keep putting it off. Make it a priority now. Hopefully this helps you sidestep any undue family drama. Anytime these documents need to be put into effect, you have enough to deal with. Having been involved in my own family drama regarding this very thing recently, I felt I needed to shout this from the rooftops! So, this is me SHOUTING!

Megaphones graphic courtesy of

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Letting It Be

...There will be an answer, let it be...
John Lennon and Paul McCartney

Are you living a life that doesn’t quite feel like yours? Perhaps at one time you thought it was, but maybe you’ve outgrown it like an old coat that doesn’t fit anymore. If that's the case, let this year be the year of change for you. Personally, I enjoy choosing a word theme for each year - it’s a word that refines me and guides me to be the best I can be. Last year my word was listen. I even found a sense of comfort in listening that guided me through some difficult days with family issues. All the listening I did last year has pointed me to the word BE. I’ll start my day with my intention to BE the best I can BE. And I’ll end the day with thoughts of how I was BEing throughout the day. What does that mean exactly? 

Technically speaking being is state of existing, but it will mean so much more than simply existing to me. I’ll put emphasis on engaging this intention at any given time - whether what I am doing, thinking, or saying is appropriate to my growth as a human BEing. Should I BE more? Should I let it BE? I want to raise my energy by setting no limits to my BEing, but at the same time, I will be more vigilant in setting limits, organizing myself, and getting rid of what is unnecessary. If it’s negative, then out the window it goes, so to speak! And, with all this to BE and not to BE stuff buzzing around my head this year, I’m going to use the Beatles song Let It Be as a trigger to pop me into engaging my intention.

It’s time to get rid of that old coat of a life you are living and find one that fits who you are now. What word speaks to you? What word theme will be the answer for you in 2019? What song will BE your guide to BEing who you are meant to BE? Notice how I worked my word in there! Ha! Forget resolutions and BE your word. See, there, I did it again. Obviously, I’m intending to BE, how about you?


2019 photo unable to determine credit