Our slogan came to life this week. A woman called our office for some advice. Her sister had fallen and was in a rehabilitation center for a brief stint. Although her sister was going home soon, and still had quite a bit of spit and vinegar in her, the caller saw the opportunity to have her sister execute a will and power of attorney.
I brought a draft with me to the facility and talked through with the sister what her last wishes were. We tweaked the Will, we tinkered with the Living Will, we doctored up the Health Care Proxy and added and subtracted from the Power of Attorney. Finally, everything was as she wanted it to be. I had my staff bring a final draft and two witnesses to the facility for the signing celebration. What a gift she was giving her sister- no more worries about what her wishes were, and much less bureaucracy to navigate in the future. We might even same the family some money.
What struck me during the discussion was that this was the first client I had met who wished to end her life on her own terms. If we resided in Washington State, we would be having a very different discussion. Maryland is floating a Physician-Aided Dying Bill. Pennsylvania does not permit end of life decisions by the patient. The sisters had very different views on the subject and I listened intently. Quite honestly, I was relieved that the discussion was moot because it would not want to be between the principal and the agent on this very personal decision.
What I found wonderfully refreshing was how frank the sisters were about their differing feelings. They were respectful and honest. It was an honor to assist this family and to witness such loving support of each other through this stage of life.