“Unfortunately, I don’t know a lot about my living will. In fact, I’m not even sure where it is at this point.” - Tom Brokaw
In a 2012 TED talk between Tom Brokaw and his daughter, Dr. Jennifer Brokaw, it was clear that some of Mr. Brokaw’s estate planning wishes weren't in as good of shape as he thought. “You know I have a living will,” he begins. But his daughter indicated that she knew nothing about his living will. The audience responds with laughter and applause while Mr. Brokaw chuckles and looks a little embarrassed. And in response, he comes clean and admits: “Unfortunately, I don’t know a lot about my living will. In fact, I’m not even sure where it is…”
This exchange reveals volumes: an advance directive was created, but was not shared with relatives and is certainly not available in an emergency. Creating an advance directive is great - however, having an actual discussion with your family about your advance directive is needed to make sure your wishes are carried out.
So what is the solution? Read South Dakota Estate Planning - Are You in the Same Boat as Tom Brokaw? (Part Two).