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WILLS - Living Wills / Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care Decisions
    A Living Will is a declaration relating to life-sustaining procedures.  The Iowa State Bar Association has a form to use to make such a declaration.  There is also a form put out by the Bar for a durable power of attorney for health care decisions.  It allows the person you name to consent to stopping health care, such as giving you fluid through an “i.v.” which is or may be necessary to keep you alive.  Finally there is an Iowa Bar form for a general power of attorney.  It includes about fifteen different powers of all kinds including the power to sell your real estate and the power to make gifts.

    Any time you are thinking about making your last Will, you should also ask about these three forms, read them, think about what they say; and visit with your lawyer about whether it may be wise for you to have one or more of them signed and available.  Normally, any such document is good unless you revoke it.  You should not sign one without carefully reading all of it, thinking about it, talking out loud to someone else about it; and then sleeping on it.  It is my experience that your mind works while you are asleep.  The next day you will often suddenly think of something that did not come into your mind at all they day before.  It is also my experience that talking to someone besides your self is important to your thinking process.  Often, just being forced to talk out loud causes your mind to make connections that it is not making when you talk to yourself.  I have no idea why.  I have just noticed that it is so.

    A final note: I agree with G. K. Chesterton that if you are going to think hard about anything, you must use short words.  Thus, whenever you are expressing yourself, use the shortest words to say it you can.  (Chesterton’s famous passage about long words is on the first page of Chapter 8 of his book titled The Romance of Orthodoxy.).

This page was written on 04190.

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