Ivylad’s father is dying.
His PET scan lit up like a Christmas tree. He doesn’t have cancer, he is cancer.
He’s home, with hospice help, and he’s as comfortable as possible.
The only thing is, he’s procrastinating about signing his living will.
I know it must be very hard on him. He knows he will not live to see his grandchildren grow up, or do more traveling with Mum. He won’t play golf or see the Buckeyes whup up on Michigan again. He doesn’t want to face the fact that he’s going to leave us, so he doesn’t want to sign the living will.
I told my MIL if Dad doesn’t sign it, he doesn’t sign it. Don’t push him. But I made copies for my sister and Ivylad’s sisters, and I made sure my own folks have theirs signed.
Please, while you’re young, while you’re healthy, while you feel you will live forever, make out a living will. You don’t want to have to deal with it while you are on your deathbed.
I’m very sorry to hear that your Dad-in-law is dying. Very, very sorry.
Your advice is right on re: living will. Another reason for a living will is in case you become mentally incapacitated. My friend’s brother was in the hospital for psychiatric reasons a while ago, and the hospital wouldn’t tell anyone in the family anything about him, because they didn’t have any legal authority to know. So basically he was locked up there with no family to help or advise him. Fortunately they got him out and back home somehow (he was in another state).
There is a useful book, “Beyond the Grave,” about wills, living wills, etc. that has lots of advice.
I’m sorry your father-in-law & the rest of your family are going through this; it shouldn’t happen to anyone, of course.
That being said, I agree with your point; signing a living will is, I think, critical for both the signer & the family of the signer. Probably makes what is a very difficult time slightly less difficult than it might otherwise be.
My sincere sympathy; this is a very difficult situation to deal with.
Living will IS important, so is a Durable Power of Attorney for health care. This permits the designated person to make medical decisions (morphine vs. no more morphine, tube feedings or not, etc., etc.,) when you are no longer able to express your own preferences. Also a normal POA that gives someone access to bank account(s) and so on so that bills can be paid.
These two documents saved my sister and me countless hassles when our dad was terminally ill. For example, on night the nurse on duty said he couldn’t have any more pain relieving stuff because it would be “dangerous.” We were able to flip through her own clipboard file, point out the living will document and the durable POA for health care and say “look here!”
A state-by-state list of living will/health care proxy forms can be found here.