Ex Pat Medical Decicion Making – Planning for Incapacity (1)

Life documents in any plan for incapacity should include a Power of Attorney for Financial Purposes and a Power of Attorney for Medical Purposes. This is what many may be tempted to not consider, that is the probability that a medical emergency will occur and is survived but most probably a temporary period of incapacity will occur. Consider who will make decisions for you when you no longer can make those decisions. In the medical area there are generally two overarching concerns:
1. Medical Decisions: who makes them? How much treatment to give? Should transport to USA occur? Should treatment terminate? If so when do you pull the plug?
2. Placement Decisions: who makes these? Where do you want to live while recuperating.

Usually people handle these questions informally with family and friends but if you have not married, have no children and recently moved to the Philippines with no established friends what are you to do and how do you do it.

These issues should be discussed with your attorney. The limited purpose here is to alert the interested reader that issues can be handled and problems anticipated and solutions generated with proper planning and nominating an alternate decision maker you trust to see that your wishes are carried out while you recuperate and are unable to make decisions. More on these issues in subsequent posts and if there is interest we can discuss some sound simple principles to discuss with a trusted attorney.

The typical matters that come up in my experience are simple, you want a drink of water and a turn from your back to your side while you recuperate and no one is there to monitor your needs and desires. Traditionally family has handled these issues but I have recently met expats – usually veterans and these individuals have no spouse, no kids and are concerned about the topics posted here and encourage me to share the information with others. The best is to have good family support around you, lacking that you may need to have some preferences written down and have nominated others to act for you when you no longer can act. Keep in mind you may simply need someone to watch your stuff while you are recuperating.  Mike

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