They thought they were prepared
Jerry and Diane had spent the last 22 wonderful years living in Israel, fulfilling their lifelong dream of Aliyah. They made sure they had a joint will to distribute their assets to their kids when they died. But they were unaware a Continuing Power of Attorney could safeguard their future healthcare choices in Israel. They only discussed their plans with each other, if either became ill or needed care. Eventually, Jerry passed away quietly in his sleep at 82. Dianne settled into a new routine of visits with her children and grandchildren in the home she and Jerry had shared, unaware of the devastating scenario ahead.
The following year when Diane suffered a stroke, her physical capacity diminished and she was unable to care for herself. Although she was fully aware, she was unable to communicate her healthcare choices to her children. She wanted to go home and hire a full time caregiver when she was ready to leave the hospital.
Her son and daughter fought heatedly about how Diane should live out the rest of her life. He wanted to put her in an expensive, senior care facility. It didn’t matter to him that there would be less money to inherit. Her daughter thought it was best to move her own family into their parents’ home and care for their mom herself. This would save the inheritance money but give the daughter advantages the son wouldn’t have while their mom was still alive. Diane spent those long weeks in the hospital, anxious for her own future, heartbroken that her kids were bitterly fighting because of her.
As the time for Diane to leave the hospital approached her children had stopped speaking to each other. Each filed a suit in court to become their mother’s legal guardian and decide her future. The judge who heard the case observed the unresolved disagreements and conflict of interests between the siblings. He decided to appoint an objective 3rd party whom the family did not know (a general guardian) to decide Diane’s future, instead.
The judge-appointed general guardian, not being aware of Diane’s own wishes, chose a compromise between the children. Diane moved into a seniors’ medical ward in a room with 5 other women. She got the medical care she needed and there was money left for the children to inherit. No one was happy, especially Diane. She had been unable to safeguard her healthcare choices because she couldn’t communicate them after her stroke.
Safeguarding your future
This entirely avoidable, awful scenario happens more often than you can believe. If you’re approaching your senior years you usually have a will in place. But unless you safeguard your future healthcare choices in Israel you could be leaving yourself vulnerable. The best way to ensure your wishes are followed is through a Continuing Power of Attorney. By planning now, you can enjoy a full life with dignity and peace of mind.