Advance Directives

Preparing for Dementia

By Sally L. Schoffstall, CELA Dementia is on the rise with the aging of baby boomers. Nearly six million individuals in the U.S. have Alzheimer’s, while others deal with cognitive decline related to Parkinson’s disease, stroke, Downs Syndrome or other medical conditions. The changes are often wrenching, as parents become vulnerable and adult children grieve [...]


Pairing Advance Directives with Supported Decision-Making

By Michael A. Kirtland, CELA When a young person reaches the age of 18 (19 or 21 in certain states), they are legally considered an adult. For many it's an exciting threshold, full of promise. Still, they may face medical, financial and educational decisions which could benefit from the advice and assistance of others. Unless [...]


Having Your Say: What if Advance Directives Are Ignored?

By Professor Kim Dayton Making medical and financial choices for an aging parent or other adult with special needs can be stressful. Health care directives and financial powers of attorney are meant to establish an agent's decision-making authority, but in practice, it doesn't always work that way. Time and again, health care professionals ignore medical [...]


Do Not Hospitalize Directives Often Confuse

By Elizabeth L. Gray, Esq. A recent article by Judith Graham, "The New Old Age, A Misunderstood Directive," (New York Times, 20 November, 2013) got me thinking about "Do Not Hospitalize" (DNH) orders. As attorneys, we routinely put such orders in our advance directives without a detailed explanation to our clients. What is a "Do [...]