A few months ago we blogged about how Khloe Kardashian stepped in to make medical decisions for her estranged husband Lamar Odom even though they were in the process of getting divorced. We encouraged you to update your medical directives and healthcare power of attorney documents as you go through life and your family circumstances change because you might not trust your soon-to-be ex as much as Odom trusted Khloe. That is still our advice, but now we have another Kardashian-inspired estate planning tip for you.
In a recent interview, Khloe revealed that her whole family was so impressed with how she handled Odom’s near-death experience and subsequent recovery, that they all changed their healthcare documents to put Khloe as their main decision-maker if they should ever become incapacitated.
This is a good reminder that we should all update our medical directives and healthcare power of attorney documents not just as our lives change, but as we learn more about the people we love. Sometimes our closest relatives are not the people that would be the best person to put in charge of making medical decisions.
As Khloe put it, “you don’t know how someone reacts until you’re put in that situation—God forbid.”
You can pick whoever you want as your medical decision-maker. It doesn’t have to be your spouse or your child, sometimes a sibling or a best friend is the person you would be most comfortable naming. As long as they are willing and able to serve, you can name whoever you want.
It is also important to review your medical directives and healthcare power of attorney documents in light of scientific advances. Some medical treatments that were once seen as risky are now rather routine, but that doesn’t mean that you would be comfortable with a particular procedure being done to you. Or, maybe there is a cure for something your documents currently say you don’t want to be treated for. It is important to make sure your documents match your wishes so the people you put in charge of making decisions on your behalf have the best information possible.