In a 2012 TED Talk between Tom Brokaw and his daughter, Dr. Jennifer Brokaw, it was clear that Mr. Brokaw’s wishes aren’t exactly as in order as he had thought. “You know I have a living will,” he begins. But "unfortunately, I don’t know a lot about my living will. In fact, I’m not even sure where it is…”
So what is the solution?
- Immediate Access to Advance Directives. Of course, copies of your advance directive documents (living will and powers of attorney) should be shared with your family and doctors. However, when an emergency occurs, the last thing on the minds of you or your family are legal documents. The solution - store them and make them available electronically. With electronic access, your documents can be available to your family and the hospital from a website, text, or email.
- Make Sure You Visit With Your Family. Your family may ultimately be in a position to make sure your wishes are carried out. Have a good conversation with them about your wishes.
Don't just draft your advance directive documents and "let them sit." Take a few extra steps to make sure the documents you prepare are available to you, your doctors, and your family.