I awoke this morning to my regular routine of enjoying a fresh brewed cup of coffee and catching up on the news. I was disturbed to read an article about a woman with an Advance Directive in Ashland, Oregon suffering from early onset Alzheimer's disease is being spoon-fed despite her wishes.
I cannot proclaim that the decision by the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Office or the Judge are incorrect. However, this raises serious questions about how specific we must be in making out our Advance Directives. Being completely honest, this issue has never crossed my mind. From now on I will advise all of my clients of this issue and include a provision regarding spoon-feeding in their Advance Directives if they would like them.
Beyond this specific issue, the story brings to light the fact that your Estate Plan must be as comprehensive as possible. Clients often ask me why their Wills or Trusts are so long; that they just need something simple. Issues like this are why the plans I prepare contain many terms and conditions that may never be used. Better safe than sorry.
The article appeared in the Mail Tribune.
If you have an Oregon Advance Directive and you are concerned about this issue, please contact us to schedule a free Estate Plan Review.