Thanksgiving: A Time for More than “Talking Turkey”

For many Americans, Thanksgiving is a time to put aside worries about work and calories, try to watch a little football, and focus on what matters most in life: family.

At Loquvam Law, we would like to take this opportunity to wish you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving.  Because we are estate planning attorneys who care about you and your family, we can’t help but use this opportunity to remind you of something important:  Thanksgiving, with the family gathered around, is an ideal time for everyone to talk with each other about their healthcare wishes.

We know that having this conversation may be difficult, but it is truly necessary.  In fact, perhaps the only thing worse than having this conversation is not having it.  Sure, you completed healthcare directives when you did your estate plan with us, but there’s much more nuance to your thinking than what you’ve written down.  The only way your family will truly know how you feel about these matters–how you want to be cared for in an emergency or an end-of-life situation–is if you talk with them about it.  For instance, what if you are terminally ill and unconscious and have no chance of recovery?  You’ve already stated in your documents whether you would want to be kept alive by artificial means.  Explain your thinking to them.  Describe what you’d want should you recover but your ability to lead what you consider a satisfying life would be greatly diminished. What would you consider a satisfying life?  One man explained to his family that he wanted to continue to be treated if he would still be able to eat ice cream and watch football.  Do you have any concrete ideas like this?

By explaining your feelings about issues like these to your loved ones, you spare them the stress and pain of having to make such decisions on their own, without the benefit of your insight.  In effect, sharing your feelings, goals and wishes in advance, as best you can, is a way for you to show your love for your family and concern over their emotional well-being.

So now you’re convinced, but you don’t know how you’d begin the conversation?  You can always blame it on us.  Just say, “My attorney really wants me to talk with you about this.”  We’re happy to take the rap.

Lastly, just a reminder: as part of our commitment to making sure your healthcare wishes are known, we provided you with complimentary membership in the DocuBank Healthcare Directives Registry.  This ensures that your healthcare wishes, as written in your healthcare directives, are immediately available to medical professionals and family members in an emergency.   Please be sure your DocuBank card is in your wallet, and if your membership has expired, please consider renewing it.

We hope that this Thanksgiving is one of the best ever for you and the rest of your family.  If you want to speak to those closest to you about your healthcare wishes but want a different way to start, we can show you other ways to begin the conversation.  Chances are, you will find that it is not as difficult as you imagine and will actually draw your family closer together.