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1. ESTATE PLANNING – THE TOUGHEST DECISIONS NEED ATTENTION
Of course the estate planning process is intended to address what a person wants to do with his or her assets. Sometimes ignored, but often more important, is the decisionmaking that involves health and medical care matters. This is particularly important as family members age.
Decisions about health care, medical treatment, hospice and living in the home (while health is fading) are usually emotional and very personal. That is why it is important to have the discussion while the family members are still capable of making rational decisions. In addition, knowing a family member’s wishes is comforting.
An excellent article in the Los Angeles Times discusses this issue. Writer Steve Lopez accompanied a geriatric care doctor (Gene Dorio, MD) on his rounds with elderly patients. It is clear that the decision to prolong life, or continue treatment, is highly personal. The writer concludes that he wished he had realized the importance of “having the conversation” years earlier with his father. The article was published on November 27, 2011. It can be found at the following link:

http://www.latimes.com/health/la-me-1127-lopez-dorio-20111127,0,7445637.column

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